ShareThis Page

Police: Theft suspect maced Hempfield Target employee

| Saturday, April 28, 2012, 1:04 a.m.

A sharp-eyed loss prevention officer at the Hempfield Target store ended up with Mace in his face after confronting a shoplifter Friday night, state police said.

Police are hoping the public might be able to help identify the robber from surveillance pictures and video released Tuesday.

The black female entered the Target along Route 30 carrying a store-supplied plastic hand cart and a large handbag, Trooper Stephen Limani said.

The woman headed for the store's electronics department and began putting large quantities of DVDs in the basket.

Limani said DVDs are among the items stolen most often from stores for their resale value. The loss prevention officer, who was monitoring store surveillance video, focused his attention on the woman as she put video after video in her basket while barely looking at the titles.

"He was alerted by that and very rightly so followed her around the store with the camera," Limani said.

The woman then headed to the store's lingerie department, where surveillance video shows her putting the DVDs into her handbag and then leaving the store basket behind.

As she headed for the door, the loss prevention officer confronted her and attempted to get her to come with him to question her.

The woman dropped the bag, which contained 33 DVDs, and then sprayed the employee with a Mace canister attached to her keychain.

The woman left the store and is believed to have driven away in a two-door silver Toyota Scion.

Limani said the woman escalated what would have likely been a misdemeanor retail theft case to a robbery with her use of force.

Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect is asked to call state police at 724-832-3288.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me