Man Attempts to Steal Rib Eye from Westgate Market Basket, Threatens to Hit Manager With Steak Sauce Bottle

(File photograph.)

Haverhill Police: Dispatch to aisle 12! A manager at the Westgate Plaza Market Basket supermarket called police for a reported disturbance last week after an East Brookfield man allegedly tried to shoplift a package of two rib eye steaks and then threatened to hit the manager with an A.1. steak sauce bottle.

Officers Kevin O’Brien and Richard St. Louis were sent to the supermarket just before 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 18 and spoke with the manager, who told them a clerk saw Brian Gernrich conceal the steaks inside his jacket in aisle 12 of the store. Staff said Gernrich attempted to leave the store after being confronted, taking the sauce bottle out of his pocket and holding it over his head, causing the manager to be fearful he’d be hit. Gernrich then “threw himself onto the ground pretending to be thrown by the staff,” police said.

According to Gernrich, the staff grabbed onto him before he could give the $30 steaks back. He told police the staff grabbed onto his arms and the steak sauce bottle fell out of his pocket. He also told O’Brien he held the bottle “in a defensive posture because he felt he was being attacked and did not intend to hit anyone with it.”

During his Haverhill District Court arraignment, Gernrich—who was charged with his third offense of shoplifting by concealing merchandise and assault with a dangerous weapon—posted $500 bail. He was also ordered to stay away from Market Basket.

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