At Half Price Books, a Dallas Cop Was Nearly Killed by a Fleeing J.R.R. Tolkien Thief

On Wednesday afternoon, an employee at the Half Price Books mothership on Northwest Highway watched a customer as she picked out a selection of audiobooks, concealed them under her shirt, and nonchalantly walked out the back door.

Darrell Stevens, a Dallas police officer working an off-duty security job at the store, found her sitting in the parking lot in her 2007 Volkswagon Rabbit. He rapped on the driver's side window. "Dallas police," he said. "Open the door."

The woman, who police identified as 26-year-old Lacey Leann Jones, opened the door as Stevens asked. Then she grabbed onto his left hand and put the car in reverse, holding tight as the car moved backwards.

Stevens, trapped between the door and body of the car, yelled at Jones to stop. Instead, she stepped on the gas. Another officer who had accompanied Stevens to the parking lot, now pretty damn sure that his colleague was going to be crushed by the tiny red hatchback tiny, unholstered his gun and pointed it at Jones, who was by this point demanding that he "Kill me!"

He didn't have to. Stevens was able to reach the brake pedal and put the car in park. Jones was arrested without further incident on charges of theft and aggravated assault of a public servant. She's in Dallas County jail on a $25,500 bond. It was the second time in a month that she's been arrested for theft, although on the previous occasion, she was also allegedly drunk.

The officers also returned the stolen audiobooks to Half Price, and they read like the library of any hardened criminal: a J.R.R. Tolkien collection; The Chronicles of Narnia; Girl in Translation (Publishers Weekly's synopsis: "A resolute yet naïve Chinese girl confronts poverty and culture shock with equal zeal when she and her mother immigrate to Brooklyn in [Jean] Kwok's affecting coming-of-age debut."); and James Patterson's teen thriller Daniel X.

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