Accused Jeannette shoplifter arrested on multiple criminal charges after return trip to store, police say

A suspected shoplifter’s return trip Tuesday to a Dollar General store in Jeannette ended in the man’s judgment on multiple felony drug delivery and possession charges when police said they discovered him with crack cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and prescription opioid medication.

Police said they seized nearly a brick of heroin, 10 small plastic bags of suspected crack cocaine and methamphetamine “of various amounts” and 41 packages of prescription opioids from Shelton A. Hannibal, 29, after his second trip to the store on the 700 block of Clay Avenue about 11 am

cpl. Christopher Mason said police were first called to the store by employees just after 9 am after they allegedly seeing Hannibal placing items in a plastic bag and leaving the store without paying.

Hannibal, who lives in Jeannette, was gone when officers arrived, but store security video confirmed the employees’ theft suspicions, Mason said.

Officers did not recognize Hannibal from the video, and patrols around the area failed to immediately locate him, Mason wrote in court documents.

At 11:08 am, the store manager telephoned police again and said Hannibal was back, Mason said.

As Mason entered the store he immediately recognized Hannibal from the store surveillance tape officers viewed earlier in the morning.

“I walked up to (Hannibal) and advised him that we needed to talk to him about a prior incident in the store. (Hannibal) walked away from me and walked around a display island,” Mason said.

Another officer was down that aisle, Mason said, and he stopped Hannibal. As Mason began handcuffing Hannibal, officers discovered merchandise including beverages and candy “bulging from” his pockets “that he had not paid for.”

Mason said the multiple packets of the buprenorphine and naloxone sublingual film fell out of Hannibal’s back pockets.

As Mason was starting to leave the store with Hannibal in handcuffs, store employees pointed to a plastic bag on the floor near the display island where Hannibal first attempted to flee and police discovered the multiple stamp bags of heroin and packages of suspected crack cocaine and methamphetamine inside.

Another customer in the store told police she saw Hannibal drop the bag as he tried to avoid Mason.

Mason reported in court documents that Hannibal told officers he had stolen pizza rolls on his initial trip to the store.

Hannibal was arranged on three felony counts of manufacturing, deliver and possession of a controlled substance and retail theft. He was ordered held in the county prison after failing to post $15,000 bond, according to online court dockets.

According to online dockets, Hannibal served a 23-month sentence after pleading guilty to multiple drug-related charges after a 2019 judgment by Jeannette police.

He did not have an attorney listed in court documents.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, ppeirce@triblive.com or via Twitter

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