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Teen football player tackles suspected shoplifter

A 14-year-old Seattle Prep football player is being called a hero on Tuesday after he helped Bellevue police nab a suspected shoplifter. (KIRO 7)

A 14-year-old Seattle Prep football player is being called a hero on Tuesday after he helped Bellevue police nab a suspected shoplifter.

The 32-year-old suspect was spotted stealing about $800 worth of merchandise in Target at Factoria Mall. He allegedly ran from police, through a cosmetics store and into Old Navy. Two officers, including rookie officer Stephanie Schendel, were in hot pursuit.

Surveillance video shows that once inside, he tried knocking down a ladder to stop the officers. When he tried to leave, he noticed another officer so he turned around, ran to his left. That is when Kevin Merz tackled him. Seconds later, the officers jumped into the fray, too.

Why did he do it?

“I’m just trying to be a good citizen,” Merz said.

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