One of the suspects was trying to steal steaks from supermarket.

NORTH CANTON  Quick-thinking Giant Eagle employees who saw a man stealing steaks Thursday night took the license plate off the getaway car before the shoplifter could leave the parking lot, according to Stark County Jail records.

When the driver returned for his license plate a short time later, he was arrested.

According to jail records, the 36-year-old man and his 32-year-old friend went to the store at 1955 E. Maple St. about 10:20 p.m. Thursday. Store employees noticed the friend stealing steaks, but when he got to the parking lot, he dropped them and got into a silver car.

The employees were able to remove the car's license plate. The suspect drove his friend to an undisclosed location, dropped him off and then returned to the store to retrieve his license plate, only to be greeted by police, the jail records show.

He reportedly gave them permission to search his vehicle, where police said they discovered three syringes and a crack pipe.

Officers arrested the driver, a Lake Township resident, at 11:42 p.m. Thursday at the store.

He was jailed on misdemeanor charges of complicity to theft, possession of drug abuse instruments and possession of drug paraphernalia, and released on his own recognizance early Friday pending a Canton Municipal Court hearing.

His friend, a Plain Township resident, is facing charges, said Police Chief John Minock. The chief said warrants would be sought Friday morning.

Stark County court records show both suspects have a prior conviction for felony receiving stolen property. The friend has other prior convictions, most recently in February.

Reach Lori at 330-580-8309 or lori.steineck@cantonrep.com.

On Twitter: @lsteineckREP