An altercation between a Home Depot loss prevention employee and an alleged thief at approximately 2; 15 pm on April 18 resulted in 26-year-old Blake Mohs, the Home Depot employee, being shot to death.
The shooting took place at the Home Depot located in Pleasanton, California. Mohs confronted 32-year-old Benicia Knapps, whom he suspected of trying to steal an electrical charger and refused to pay for it and shot him when he tried to stop her. Mohs died at the scene from his wounds.
Knapps fled the scene in a getaway car driven by another suspect, David Guillory (31), and Knapp’s 2-year-old child. The 2-year-old was placed in the care of relatives. Alameda County Sheriff’s deputies recovered a gun at an intersection near the store, and the two suspects were detained.
Pleasanton Mayor Karla Brown expressed deep sorrow for the senseless shooting and tragic loss of life. Mohs was a respected community member and well-known to Pleasanton police for reporting store thefts to them. He was engaged to be married, was a Boy Scout leader, and volunteered with community youth programs. Friends and co-workers described him as a role model for others.
Pleasanton, California, is located in the East Bay region of San Francisco, with a population of over 78,000. It’s one of the wealthiest cities in America, with a reported household income is $160,689, nearly twice the national average.
Theft affects retailers of all types and in all locations. Shoplifting in major cities has reached epidemic proportions. Many low income areas are losing retailers. Four unprofitable Chicago Walmart stores are closing. Retailers often employ various security measures to deter shoplifting, including security cameras, loss prevention personnel, and electronic article surveillance systems.
Retail workers, including store guards, are at an increased risk of workplace violence, including assault and other forms of physical harm.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that approximately 2 million American workers, including those in retail, experience workplace violence yearly, and many more cases go unreported.