SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A man accused of robbing a 79 year-old man and pushing him to the ground, was arrested Wednesday following an unrelated shoplifting incident in West Springfield.
Springfield Police Sgt. John Delaney told 22News that Scott Laclair, 40, of Springfield, is accused of stealing $400 from the man on Sumner Avenue near the “X” Friday morning.
Delaney says that the victim had visited the New World gas station and the neighboring Sovereign Bank, when he was approached by a man who asked him for change. The victim took out his wallet, and that was when Laclair grabbed it, and violently pushed the man down. He then pedaled away from the area on a small white BMX bike.
A nearby state trooper tried to chase Laclair down on foot, and two Springfield officers joined in, but Delaney says Laclair abandoned the bike and began jumping over fences through the neighborhood. Laclair received a bad cut in the process, but was still able to avoid arrest.
Officers collected a DNA sample from the place where Laclair injured himself.
Delaney says that Laclair is well known to police, and had been spotted riding his bike right before the robbery. Further, he said that the theft was caught on surveillance video, and the victim and a witness were both able to identify Laclair as the suspect.
He is wanted on warrants for unarmed robbery with a victim over 60 years of age, as well as shoplifting. He was placed on the department’s most wanted list, and on Wednesday, police distributed his image and information about him to the public. While this was going on, however, Delaney says a loss prevention officer at Kohl’s in West Springfield caught Laclair trying to steal $130 worth of men’s clothing from the store. He was taken into the custody of West Springfield police, which notified Springfield police of his capture.