Police say that, just after 6 a.m. today, officers were told of a possible theft in progress at the Alliance Wal Mart store at 2700 W. State Street.
When police arrived, they saw an unoccupied but still-running vehicle parked by the rear door.
Police say they then saw a man leave the store through the fire door and he was pushing a shopping cart full of merchandise. The man spotted police and ran away, leaving the cart behind.
Police chased him but didn't find him. About 50 minutes later, police dispatchers got a call from an Akron man who is a friend of the suspect.
The Akron man said he had just received a call from the suspect, who had been hiding in a dumpster near the Alliance Wal Mart, and that dumpster had just been picked up and emptied into a trash truck and he was trapped inside and needed help.
Dispatchers here and in Stark County alerted other patrol units to try and find the BFI trash truck. Alliance dispatchers, as well as Stark County dispatchers, were able to contact the suspect briefly on his cell phone, then began utilizing GPS to track his cell phone.
The truck was found on N. Walnut Street at River Street.
The BFI truck was stopped and officers climbed into the trash-compacting truck and found the suspect. After several minutes, officers were still unable to free the suspect from the trash so they decided that the truck would have to be emptied to get him out.
He was freed at the Alliance recycling center at River and Walnut, then taken to Mercy Medical Center in Canton by Stark Summit ambulance.
Then the suspect was taken by LifeFlight to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, where his condition is unknown at this time.