When Flagstaff Police Department officers found Kevin Schierholz, 25, pulling car door handles in the Fry's Food and Drug parking lot, his pants, shoes and hat were covered in flour.
Just minutes earlier, the manager of Pizza Patio finished filling out a report for a a burglary where the suspect had somehow spread flour all over the floor of the restaurant.
Schierholz alleged the substance on his clothes was dirt or dried paint, which the officer did not believe due to the consistency of the white powder.
Steve Grubart, manager at Pizza Patio, was astounded to see the restaurant when he walked into Pizza Patio. The person who broke into his establishment drank a glass of wine and beer, then attempted to pry their wall-mounted flat-screen television off the wall and broke open a 50-pound bag of flour spreading its contents all over the floor.
Grubart said he has owned other establishments before and never had anything like this happen before.
“He seemed to take the least expensive items all the way around,” Grubart said. "None of it made any sense.”
When Grubart walked into the restaurant, he thought the ceiling had collapsed because of the flour scattered on the floor. When he saw that there were sunglasses, and the bottles of wine and beer, left out on the counter, he called the police.
The police further observed that some knives had broken handles, and the tips were bent. Grubart believes the knives were used in an attempt to pry the television off the wall.
The manager found it odd that Schierholz had kept a lot of flour on his clothing, but didn’t take any dough.
“The guy didn’t open up the register, which had a couple 100 dollars in it,” Grubart said.
Grubart said that 15 minutes after the officer left, the officer called him back after they had detained Schierholz.
“I thought they had called for clarification, but they had caught him,” Grubart said. “I didn’t really get a chance to process it.”
Officers reportedly found Schierholz in the Fry’s Food and Drug parking lot, and confirmed that he also matched the description of a person pulling door handles at a downtown auto-repair shop. Additionally, when officers began to speak with Schierholz, they found he had a warrant for his arrest for a failure to appear.
Inside Schierholz’s yellow backpack, officers say they found two tablets, one with the words “Pizza Patio” on it. The officers also reportedly found a bottle of wine, large bolt cutters, marijuana and drug paraphernalia on him.
When asked where he received the tablets, Schierholz reportedly told the officers he found them in the downtown area. Schierholz was arrested on eight separate charges including third-degree burglary, theft, marijuana possession and two failure to appear charges.
Grubart said he was just happy that no one was seriously hurt, and that they were able to open up next day. But the cleaning was rough, he said.
“The employees that weren’t on shift think it was the funniest thing in the world. The employees that were on had to clean it up with me,” Grubart said. “The flour gets everywhere. It was even inside our cabinets.”
Scott Buffon can be reached at email@example.com, on Twitter @scottbuffon or by phone at (928) 556-2250.
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