Police: Man, 47, buys cookie, steals Subway cash register

Monday, October 26, 2009 | 9:11 p.m. CDT; updated 8:55 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, October 27, 2009

COLUMBIA — A man walked into a Subway restaurant and bought a cookie. He left with an entire cash register, according to Columbia Police Officer Tim Timmerman.

Shortly after 3:30 p.m. Monday, Columbia Police responded to a report of a theft at the Subway restaurant at 2716 Paris Road. Timmerman said the female Subway employee reported that a man entered the restaurant, ordered a cookie, paid for it and then wrestled the cash register away from her. The suspect was described as a 5-foot-9-inch, 180-pound man wearing a red long-sleeved T-shirt, police said.

According to police, the employee struggled with the suspect, but he was eventually able to leave with the cash register. Police said the employee was able to describe his vehicle.

Officers later chased a burgundy 1990 Toyota 4Runner that Officer Chris Boyle said fit the description that employees provided. A brief pursuit ended with the arrest of Stirling J. Harris, 47, outside the Petco Animal Supplies store at the Crossroads Shopping Center near West Broadway and Stadium Boulevard.

The cash register and all its contents were recovered, a Police Department news release stated.

"This quick arrest was a combined effort of the observant Subway employee ... and the patrol officers who spotted him and took him into custody safely," said Public Information Officer Jessie Haden.

Police interviewed Harris after his arrest. Police also anticipate charges including second-degree robbery, resisting arrest, use of a motor vehicle in commission of a felony, careless and imprudent driving and other traffic charges.

According to Missouri, Harris has been charged for robbery four other times and pleaded guilty to all four charges.

The Subway restaurant remained closed for much of Monday evening.

Missourian reporter Anna Gaynor contributed to this report.

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