FARMINGTON — A warrant has been issued for a Lewiston man wanted in connection with the attempted theft of more than $1,700 worth of merchandise from Walmart on Monday afternoon.
The incident was similar to recent ones at Walmarts in Auburn and Oxford involving a man of similar description and wearing an identical hat, Farmington police officer Wayne Drake said.
Police have a name and phone number for the suspect in Monday's theft attempt from a witness who recognized him. When police called the number, the person who answered hung up, he said.
A warrant has been issued for the man, who has been permanently barred from Kohl's department store in Auburn, police said.
On Monday, a man maneuvered through an empty checkout aisle at Walmart and waited until he thought no one was watching before pushing the cart loaded with merchandise through the doors, Drake said.
But, the store's loss prevention security officer was watching and had tracked him through the store, Drake said. He was confronted after he went through the doors and bolted, leaving the cart as he ran toward Burger King.
Because Farmington officers were on other calls, Wilton officers responded along with a tracking dog and officer from the Franklin County Sheriff's Department. The man apparently left the parking lot in a vehicle, but another shopper noticed the commotion and was able to identify him as a person from the Lewiston area and also supplied a phone number, Drake said.
The shoplifter had a vacuum cleaner, tools, wine, energy drinks, toys and other items in the cart. Some of it was hidden within a tote box, police said.
Walmart security personnel recorded the episode. They are watching and people will be caught, Drake advised.