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Shoplifter pepper-sprayed store employee | Crime

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Shoplifter pepper-sprayed store employee
Crime, News
Shoplifter pepper-sprayed store employee

DULUTH, Ga -- Police are calling it a shoplifting, but it could easily be called an assault. A female shoplifter was armed with pepper spray and wasn't afraid to use it when a store associate approached her.

It was a very bold crime because it happened at about 6:00 a.m. on October 8, when hardly anyone was in the Walmart on Pleasant Hill Road in Duluth.

Duluth Police released surveillance video from the store that showed the woman walk into the Walmart with the pepper spray already in her right hand, as if she knew she was going to be confronted.

"It's our belief that she knew that loss prevention would make contact with her if in fact she was shoplifting, and they did," said Det. Bobby Johnson. "And she came prepared."

The woman bypassed the sales counters and went right to the exit with a cart full of household goods and appliances. That's when a Walmart associate confronted her and asked her for her sales receipt. The woman didn't stop and turned around and sprayed the associate right in the face. "The attack continued as the suspect went out the door," Det. Johnson said.

The associate was blinded by the pepper spray and couldn't tell which way the suspect went. "After she (associate) was sprayed she had a hard time breathing, she lost vision for some time, complained of redness to her face, and had swelling and burning," Johnson said.

Cameras on the outside of the store showed the woman get into a dark-colored Dodge Charger or Challenger. "If this individual will pepper spray an associate of Walmart twice just to steal some items, what is she capable of?" Det. Johnson asked.

Police said the store associate recognized the woman from a previous shoplifting attempt. If you know who she is call Duluth Police Detective Bobby Brown at 678-9577287 or email him at bjohnson@duluthpd.com.

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