UPDATE: 12-16-2016 (9:15pm)
New Albany Police Chief Chris Robertson has informed NAnewsweb.com that the suspect in yesterday’s shoplifting incident at the Walls store on Highway 30 West has been identified. The New Albany Police Department is working with other police departments who may have charges against the same person. The suspect, whose identity has not been released, is still at large at this time.
New Albany, MS- A hapless, would-be shoplifter was observed inside the New Albany Walls store on Highway 30 West at about 1:00 PM on Thursday, December 15th.
When challenged by store personnel, the alleged shoplifter reportedly sprayed the employee with a can believed to have contained Mace, Pepper Spray, or some similar product. The shoplifter then ran from the store, and store employees called the New Albany Police Department.
Store manager Lea Ann Smith said that the shoplifter was a white male. It is not known whether he had any other weapons beyond the spray product.
Store personnel then discovered that the alleged shoplifter had left behind his car keys and a jacket in the store.
Taking the keys outside and actuating the key fob activated a small white Chrysler, with Drive-out tags from a Tennessee car dealer, in the parking lot. Additionally, as can be seen in one of the attached photos, the luckless would-be shoplifter also left his cell phone behind in the automobile.
As of about 2:30 PM, local police were searching, with two police dogs, for the man in a stretch of wooded area northwest of the store where the action occurred; the suspect is still on the loose as of 3 pm today’s date.
Police Chief Chris Robertson described the man as a white male approximately 5’5, blondish red hair with freckles, clean shaven wearing Khaki pants, and dark shirt. He was last seen running on foot headed North East from Walls Bargain Center. Robertson says that the charge will likely be upgraded from shoplifting to Robbery.
NAnewsweb.com will update this story as information becomes available.