Man charged with kidnapping after attempting to walk away with infant in Arizona grocery store

Jeffrey Roholt, 59, of Flagstaff, Arizona. [Image credit: Flagstaff Police Department]

On the morning of September 3, police responded to a call to a grocery store near the junction of Interstate 40 and Interstate 17 in Flagstaff, Arizona for a report of an attempted kidnapping.


The woman told police that she was using the self-checkout when a man grabbed her shopping cart with her infant still inside in a carrier and began to walk out of the store.


"The mother quickly noticed the male leaving with her infant and stopped the male, preventing her child from being taken," the Flagstaff Police Department stated later that day.


A review of surveillance footage from the store showed a man, later identified as 59-year-old Jeffrey Roholt utilizing an adjacent self-checkout register before taking "control of the mother's shopping cart" and attempting "to leave the store with the infant and shipping cart."


When police caught up with Roholt later in the day, he is said to have told police that "he believed the cart was his and attempted to leave the store."


Surveillance footage from the store revealed that he had never utilized a cart during that shopping trip.


Roholt was arrested and charged with one count of kidnapping.


AZ Central revealed that it appears as though Roholt was on probation at the time of the offense.


According to court records, Roholt pleaded guilty in 2019 to a count of disorderly conduct, a domestic violence offense, as a part of a plea deal that saw two other charges dismissed by the court.  As a result of that deal, he was sentenced to 2.5 years probation.


Records also indicate an earlier case from 2007 on two counts of aggravated DUI for which he was found guilty and sentenced to 2 years of probation for each charge. Those sentences were to run concurrently and were indicated as completed in November 2009.