MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A U.S. Army recruiter helped police catch some suspected shoplifters at Southdale Mall over the weekend – all with his 10-month-old daughter in tow.

According to Minneapolis Recruiting Battalion of the U.S. Army, the incident occurred at around 11 a.m. Sunday at the Southdale Mall. There, Staff Sergeant Sean Oliva was shopping at the mall with his 10-month-old daughter, who was in her stroller.

At one point, Oliva observed four males enter the Apple Store, take merchandise and leave without purchasing the items.

Staff at the store were not able to intervene, so Oliva went running through the mall with his daughter in stroller in pursuit of the suspects.

When they exited the mall, a bystander agreed to watch Oliva’s daughter as he pursued the suspects into the parking ramp. Oliva was able to follow the suspects easily because they kept dropping stolen items during their attempted escape.

Oliva was able to observe the suspects getting into their vehicle, and took photographs of the suspects and their vehicle license plate.

“Fortunately an Edina Police vehicle was patrolling the parking ramp and Staff Sgt. Oliva was able to get their attention, directing them to the suspects. The suspects began to evade the police, nearly striking two parked vehicles, before coming to a halt due to a second Edina Police vehicle joining the pursuit and cutting off the suspect’s escape route,” the Minneapolis Recruiting Battalion of the U.S. Army said in a statement.

The suspects were then apprehended and Oliva provided a witness statement for police.

Oliva joined the military in 2005 and has two deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. He’s currently a member of the U.S. Army’s St. Paul Recruiting Company.


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