OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – An Oklahoma man posing as a petitioner to gather signatures to legalize recreational marijuana allegedly used the moment to shoplift an Oklahoma City department store and assault an employee.

It happened at an event to support legalized marijuana held June 28 outside the Kohl’s located on Northwest Passage. That event ended with a call for police to hunt down a shoplifting suspect.

“It turns out he had been to that Kohl’s before and had some problems there,” said Gary Knight with the Oklahoma City Police Department. 

According to a probable cause affidavit, Colton Mejia spent hours collecting signatures with the Outreach Team.

Colton Mejia mugshot
Colton Mejia, Courtesy: Oklahoma County Detention Center

That’s when police say he left the group and walked into Kohls.

“He walked into the store, began shoplifting clothing items and some shoes,” said Knight. 

Court documents reveal that Mejia chose men’s workout gear “as well as Nike shoes” and “stuffed all the items in a black backpack.”

“He was confronted by a store employee, who he punched and then ran out of the store,” said Knight. 

Members of the petition team didn’t hesitate to help. They provided the police with his full name.

The information led them to his mother’s home in southwest OKC where he was hiding under a bed.

“His mother told officers he was in there,” said Knight. “They found him hiding inside the residence. He was taken into custody. At that point, the stolen items were recovered and returned to the store.” 

The campaign that supports recreational marijuana released told KFOR Mejia only worked a handful of hours. Before the incident, he had left the signature collection group and was not seen again.