San Luis Obispo resident Dennis Chapman Wheeler will serve five years in state prison for robbing Smart and Final on Johnson Avenue.

On May 28, 2018, Wheeler took more than $150 of tri-tip steak and attempted to escape the store without paying through an emergency exit, according to a County of San Luis Obispo news release.

A Smart & Final employee saw Wheeler flee and chased him outside to try to recover the steaks. Once outside, Wheeler threatened the employee with a knife, according to the news release. The Smart & Final employee backed away and Wheeler escaped on a bicycle.

Wheeler was spotted by San Luis Obispo Police who had prior contact with him less than two miles from Smart & Final. He was arrested two and a half hours after the robbery, the release read.

In November, a jury found Wheeler guilty of second-degree robbery with an added enhancement of use of a deadly weapon. Wheeler could have been sentenced to a maximum sentence of 8 years in prison because of his prior convictions and use of a deadly weapon.

Wheeler, who is 30 years old, has served time on two prior occasions.

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