AUGUSTA — A Mount Vernon man who allegedly threatened to stab a woman with a pocket knife inside a Walmart after being followed by security for stealing items has been arrested on charges of robbery and other offenses.

Preston Garrett Caron, 19, admitted to police he had taken a knife out of his pocket while inside the store, but denied displaying it and denied stealing anything while he was at Walmart in Augusta Tuesday, according to an affidavit filed by Augusta officer Sara Rogers. When police asked about the knife, he took it out of his right front pocket and showed it to them.

A woman whom police said works as an “asset protection investigator” for Walmart said she saw Caron put two items, later determined to be a Monster magnetic phone mount and a Bluetooth transmitter, into his backpack.

She told police she continued to watch Caron and she was noticed by two women with him in the store. The woman, who told police she had not identified herself as a Walmart worker, said she heard them make several comments about being followed. When she was standing across an aisle from him, between 10 and 12 feet away, she said “he took out a pocket knife and opened it displaying the blade,” Rogers wrote in the affidavit. “She later described him as holding it outwards and with the blade open.”

The Walmart worker said Caron used an expletive as he threatened to stab someone.

The woman said she removed herself from the situation, following company policy. Caron and the two women with him left the store and started to drive off. They were stopped by an Augusta officer as their vehicle was leaving the Walmart parking lot.

Caron was arrested, and he and the women with him told police where the allegedly stolen items were located in the vehicle. Rogers’ affidavit said the items were worth $29.76. Caron told Rogers he hated people following him around and that had happened to him before.

Rogers said Caron later apologized to her and said he should have told her the truth. The affidavit states Caron, who was taken to the Kennebec County jail in Augusta, has no criminal history.

He was charged with robbery, a class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison, as well as lesser charges of criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and theft by unauthorized taking. The robbery charge alleges he threatened to use force against the store’s asset protection investigator as she sought to prevent the taking of property.

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