By Paul Tennant
---- — METHUEN — A civilian helped officers arrest an alleged shoplifter last night, police said.
Walmart reported a shoplifter had fled the store at 6:38 p.m. The suspect ran across Pleasant Valley Street to Mann Orchards, then ran through backyards, hopping fences, according to police.
Officers set up a perimeter and several area residents came out of their houses and pointed to the direction in which the shoplifter was fleeing, police said. Officer Jeff Torrisi encountered the suspect, ordered him to stop and as he placed his hands on him, the man clenched his fists and began to struggle, according to Lt. Michael Wnek.
At that moment, a man identified on the department’s Facebook page as Chris Ross, believed to be in his 20s, bear-hugged the suspect and “escorted him to the ground,” Wnek said.
Joshua Silva, 26, of 293 Jackson St., Lawrence, was arrested and charged with shoplifting by asportation, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.