A probationer armed with a machete was arrested today for allegedly going through an Eastvale store and pocketing items without paying for them.
Thomas Robert Johnston, 50, of Indio was arrested shortly before noon on suspicion of burglary, theft, illegal possession of a weapon and probation violations.
According to Riverside County sheriff’s Sgt. Andrew Elia, deputies patrolling the Eastvale Gateway Shopping Center at 12471 Limonite Ave. spotted Johnston behaving suspiciously and decided to question him.
After learning he was on probation, the suspect was searched, at which point the deputies discovered he had a machete tucked down his pants, as well as a number of brand new store items but no receipts, Elia said.
Security personnel at a nearby Target reviewed surveillance video and confirmed that Johnston had been in the outlet, allegedly stuffing merchandise into his clothing before leaving, according to the sergeant.
The goods were returned to the store and the suspect was taken to the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.
Bail information was not immediately available.