RANCHO SANTA FE — An attempted robbery at the Village Market on March 26 went awry, thanks to the quick thinking and bravery of Matthew Basham, the store manager. Basham was dealing with a wine rep in aisle 2 when he said he noticed a man attempting to steal four bottles of expensive tequila by placing them under his shirt. Basham said he confronted the man who then took a swing at him, clipping Basham on the jaw. In self-defense, Basham said he wrestled the man to the ground, which broke a bottle of tequila and knocked over displays in the process. Another employee called 911 and secured the doorway with shopping carts, keeping the man and his three companions in the store.
Sgt. Reynolds of the Encinitas branch of the San Diego Sheriff’s Department arrived at 8:30 a.m. and found Basham and other store employees detaining the man on the floor. “It took about eight minutes for the officer to arrive,” Basham said. “And, believe me, it was a long eight minutes.” During the wait, Basham said the man attempted to bite him on the arm, drawing blood on his hand.
Sandi Lubenow, assistant to Superintendent Lindy Delaney at the R. Roger Rowe School, was in the market at the time of the altercation. “I heard a ruckus by all the shopping carts and something was happening on the floor. I thought someone was having a seizure. There were about 10 of us in the store wondering, ‘What’s going on?’”
Reynolds identified the man as Ulysses Ramirez, 41. He has been booked at the Vista jail for attempted robbery with use of force.