A Redwood City man who threatened San Carlos Home Depot employees with a pocket knife after being caught shoplifting — then dropped his U.S. passport, Oregon birth certificate and cellphone during his getaway — pleaded no contest Monday to felony attempted criminal threats, prosecutors said.
The no contest plea came on the condition that Eric David Mills serves no more than 16 months of incarceration, prosecutors said.
The items that Mills dropped during his getaway on May 10 helped San Mateo County sheriff’s deputies track him down. A week later, an officers spotted Mills in a car on 5th Avenue in Redwood City, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office. The car was stopped and Mills was arrested.
Prosecutors said the day of the crime, Mills had picked up $672.57 worth of tools and then walked out of the Home Depot at 1125 Old County Rd. Two loss prevention officers ordered him to stop and chased after him. Mills tried to run but eventually turned, dropped his tools and took a fighting stance before running off to his car parked in the store’s lot, prosecutors said. At the car, he pulled out a pocket knife and threatened the loss prevention officers.
Mills had faced a three strikes prosecution due to residential burglaries committed in 2002 and 2016.
But in an agreement with prosecutors, he pleaded no contest to felony attempted threats, admitted to the serious felony allegation and admitted the prior felony strike conviction.
His sentencing is expected to occur this morning.