Harlan man wanted in Lee arrested for shoplifting/ wielding weapon

A Harlan man is facing a charge of robbery after allegedly pulling a weapon on store employees after being caught shoplifting.

Scotty Napier, 27, was arrested on Wednesday by Harlan City Police Sgt. Jeff Owens.

According to Owens, police received a call on Tuesday from the manager of Walmart concerning a shoplifting incident.

“We received a call from Paul Meister — who is the manager of Walmart — that a person had been shoplifting, and had pulled a box cutter knife out and took off running out of the store,” Owens said. “They had identified the male as Scotty Napier, who lives on Readymix Road behind Walmart.”

According to Owens, Harlan City Police and the Harlan County Sheriff’s Office began a search for Napier.

“Basically, Napier was caught shoplifting inside the store,” Owens said. “He had stuck some ink cartridges down the front of his pants when he was confronted by their loss prevention team and manager.”

Owens said Napier stated he would give the items back before he pulled the knife.

“He actually took a step back and took out a box cutter knife stating he didn’t want to go to jail,” Owens said. “We took out a warrant because that placed the Walmart employees in fear for their lives. Once he pulled out the knife, they told him the police were coming and he took off running.”

Owens said Napier ran out of Walmart and up into the mountains.

“We looked for him for a few hours yesterday, searching the mountainside,” Owens said. “Later that same day I obtained a warrant for second-degree robbery.”

Owens said police got a tip on Wednesday Napier was walking down U.S. 421, commonly referred to as the bypass.

“I made contact with him in the Woodland Plaza parking lot,” Owens said. “He was arrested without incident.”

Napier was charged with second-degree robbery and lodged in the Harlan County Detention Center on two full cash bonds totaling $6,000.

Owens mentioned Napier also had active warrants for failure to appear on charges including burglary, fraudulent use of a credit card and criminal mischief.

“I was also contacted by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia, he’s also wanted for felony larceny in Virginia,” Owens said.

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