FREMONT -- A Brentwood parolee who police say got caught stealing BBQ ribs from a local Safeway and threatened to shoot an employee there was nabbed at a relative's nearby apartment before he could start grilling the stolen meat.
Randy Adam Harris, 51, was arrested on suspicion of robbery, resisting arrest and a parole violation after the Saturday evening meat heist at an Irvington grocery store branch, said police spokeswoman Geneva Bosques.
Officers were dispatched at 7:30 p.m. to the Safeway at 3902 Washington Boulevard for a report of an armed robbery. Police said Harris -- who was recently released from prison after serving time for an armed robbery charge -- was picked up by a friend from the Union City BART station earlier that day and that he asked her to swing by Safeway so he could grab meat to barbecue at a relative's house.
The female driver took Harris to Safeway and then waited for him in the car, Bosques said.
Inside the store, police say, Harris grabbed a few packages of ribs and a bottle of alcohol, hid them in a bag and attempted to walk out of the store.
When a female employee confronted Harris about stealing the items, he pretended he had a gun in his pocket and threatened to shoot her, police said.
The employee told officers Harris ran out of the store, got into the front passenger side of a black 4-door sedan and the vehicle drove off.
Police spotted the vehicle traveling on Wolcott Drive and followed it to an apartment complex about a half-mile away in the 40800 block of Ingersoll Place. When the driver stopped the car, Harris got out, dropped a bag and began running.
Inside the bag, police found some of the stolen ribs.
Witnesses in the complex helped lead officers to Harris, who had taken shelter inside a family member's apartment. When officers went to the door, Bosques said, he came out without incident.
He told police he took the meat because he only had $9 and admitted he threatened to shoot the employee but said that he was "bluffing" her.
Officers found more of the stolen meat in the apartment's refrigerator and arrested Harris, Bosques said.
Harris, being held without bail at the Santa Rita Jail, was slated to be arraigned on the charges Tuesday ¿at the Fremont Hall of Justice.
According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Harris was released from prison in April after serving an 8-year prison stint for a second-degree robbery conviction in Alameda County. His other prior convictions include robbery, false imprisonment and bribery in both Alameda and Contra Costa counties.
Contact Natalie Neysa Alund at 510-293-2469. Follow her at Twitter.com/nataliealund.