A Malibu transient was arrested last week on suspicion of trying to steal a meal and cigarettes before getting into a tussle with a Ralphs manager, slightly injuring him.
The strong-arm robbery and burglary was reported on Jan. 29 at the Ralphs at 23841 Malibu Road in Malibu, according to the Lost Hills/Malibu Sheriff's Station.
Keith Frank, a 40-year-old transient known to frequent Malibu, was taken into custody on Jan. 29 and released on Feb. 3, according to jail records.
Frank told responding deputies, “You got me, I stole the cigarettes, it’s a petty theft, give me a ticket and let me go,” and placed stolen cigarettes on the hood of the patrol car.
Frank is accused of entering the store, and taking a roasted chicken worth $6.99 and a container of hot chili worth $3 and several packs of cigarettes worth $11.11, before walking out of the store without paying, according to investigators.
The grocery store manager tried to stop Frank, and grabbed the roasted chicken bag.
"During the struggle the suspect threw the container of the hot chili soup into the vicitim’s face, burning the back of his left ear," according to a report of the incident.
The manager slipped on the soup and fell to the ground, and the suspect left the area. About 10 minutes later, Frank returned and allegedly grabbed four packs of cigarettes and again left the store.
Deputies found Frank not far from the store, and arrested him. The manager, who refused medical attention, identified the transient from 20 feet away.