Jerry Anderson and Matthew Anderson were recognized during the Feb. 25 Snellville council meeting with a Certificate of Appreciation by the Snellville Police for their help in stopping a suspected shoplifter on Feb. 9.
Unknown to them at the time, the suspect, Kevin Samuel Lahey, of Norcross, was allegedly planning to attack a government building in Gwinnett County.
According to Snellville Chief of Police Roy Whitehead, Sgt. Bruce Swain was called out to the Snellville Walmart for a misdemeanor shoplifting incident. When he arrived at the store, he saw the suspect attempting to leave through the Garden Center, so Sgt. Swain followed him in.
At that point, Lahey began to run through the aisles in an attempt to elude the police. Jerry and Matthew Anderson, both Snellville citizens, blocked his path, grabbing him by the arm. In the attempt to subdue him, a gun and Kbar knife fell out of Lahey's clothing.
Lahey was charged with obstruction, possession of a weapon during a crime, carrying a concealed weapon and shoplifting.
Once he was in custody, Sgt. Swain recognized the suspect as someone who was wanted by federal agencies for stealing gun silencers. The federal agency was notified of his arrest and searched his home, where they found weapons, silencers, drugs and writings saying that he planned to attack a Gwinnett County government building.
"I thank the gentlemen who took the time to help," said Whitehead.
Lahey has a history of charges dating back to 2005 that include possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (2011), probation violation (2011), following too closely (2011), theft by shoplifting (2008), theft by receiving (2007), cruelty to children, battery, burglary, destruction of mailboxes (2007), and numerous drug charges.
The current case is still under investigation.
(Correction: Patch first reported that Jerry Anderson and Matthew Anderson were father and son. They are not related, just happen to have the same last name.)
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