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Authorities: Toothpaste Thief Hit Store Owner With Coffee Pot

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Clarence Anthony

Clarence Anthony is charged with trying to steal 16 tubes of toothpaste from a dollar store, and bopping the owner on the head with a coffee pot when he got caught. (Credit: Chicago Police)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Authorities have charged a man with trying to steal 16 tubes of toothpaste from a Back of the Yards neighborhood dollar store, and clobbering the owner with a coffee pot after he got caught.

Clarence Anthony, 40, who lives near 53rd and Laflin streets, was charged with aggravated battery and shoplifting in the incident last week. He was to appear in bond court Friday at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse.

“He almost killed me,’’ said Super Dollar & Furniture store owner Samir Marah, who said he was scheduled Thursday to have three staples removed from the back of his head from cuts he received when he was hit.

The incident unfolded about 6:30 p.m. on April 19, when the suspect was trying to leave with the items from the store, 5257 S. Ashland Ave., said Marah, 49, who had owned the store since 2004.

Store employees saw some tubes of toothpaste fall out of the suspect’s jacket, and Marah said he confronted the suspect and said: “Hey, you didn’t pay for those things.”

Anthony had tried to take 16 tubes of Colgate sold for $2.99 each, Marah said.

Things got uglier when the suspect was taken to the back of the store, where workers were detaining him.

“He started fighting, and he didn’t want anyone to search him,” Marah said of Anthony. “He got the coffee pot and he hit me with it, it was hot.’’

The suspect fled without his jacket and sweater and police and an ambulance were called. Marah was taken to Holy Cross Hospital to be treated.

Marah said he has not had prior run-ins with Anthony.

The owner said this robbery prompted the store to make sure multiple surveillance cameras were operable inside the store and in their parking lot.

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