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Shopping Spree Draws Unwanted Attention; 3 Arrested

A suspicious group shopping at the Bloomington Walmart store did not appear to steal anything, but their shopping spree ended with a trip to jail for three of the four shoppers.

Police officers were dispatched to Walmart at approximately 10 PM September 25 after the store’s loss prevention staff reported the quartet’s suspicious activity. The group was selecting merchandise quickly, and seemingly without any discretion, according to Bloomington Police Commander Damon Bitney.

As the group continued to shop, the loss prevention staff reviewed parking lot surveillance video, and identified a vehicle that the group used to visit the store, which a police officer determined to be stolen, Bitney said.

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One of the men in the group headed to the parking lot ahead of the others, entered the Toyota Camry and began to drive off. Officers watching the vehicle approached the suspect in squad cars as the 34-year-old Bloomington man prepared to drive away.

Officers instructed the suspect to turn off the vehicle, but instead he attempted to back out of a parking space and drive away. He struck a parked vehicle during his maneuvering before officers were able to block his vehicle with their squad cars, at which point he complied with their commands, and was arrested, Bitney explained.

Inside the store the remaining trio took its merchandise collection to a store register. Attempts to pay for the merchandise with multiple credit cards failed, but one of the men withdrew cash from an ATM, and the group paid for a portion of the merchandise they collected, Bitney noted.

As the man who handled the transaction began to exit the store, an officer approached him and questioned him about the multiple efforts to pay for the merchandise with a credit cards, and his connection to the man being detained in the parking lot…  Sun Current


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