MORGANTON, NC — Public safety officers say a man used a sledgehammer to steal more than $1,000 worth of merchandise in what became a scary situation for Walmart shoppers.
Investigators said that sledgehammer was one of the items he stole from the Morganton store and he used it to get away.
Officers said the suspect raised the sledgehammer at one of the greeters stationed at the exit, and customers were nearby.
Jaimeson Walker demonstrated to Channel 9′s Dave Faherty how the suspect was waving the sledgehammer as he quickly tried to exit the store.
In surveillance video released to Channel 9, you can see Walker and his wife entering the store. That’s when public safety officers say the suspect made a mad dash for the exit with the sledgehammer in his hands.
“At first, I didn’t recognize exactly what was going on until he hit the doors,” Walker said. “We were all kind of shaken for a little bit because it’s not like you see that every day.”
“He made eye contact with the greeter who was at the door and kind of held the hammer up,” said his wife Anna Walker. “[He] charged forward and the doors didn’t open in time and he ran into the doors.”
Public safety officers released a surveillance photo of the suspect who they say stole more than $1,000 in camping equipment from the store. Investigators also believe the 2.5-pound sledgehammer was stolen during the suspect’s shopping spree.
They say outside, he loaded the entire shopping cart into the back of a red Chevrolet Silverado and took off.
The Walkers are glad they and their children weren’t hurt.
“I think it was way too dangerous to try to stop him. He was moving very fast,” Jaimeson Walker said. “And with a hammer like that, it was just too dangerous for anyone to get in front of him.”
Channel 9 asked public safety officials about possible charges in the case and they said he could be charged with counts of felony larceny and common law robbery. They’re hoping to find the red pickup truck with the shopping cart from the Walmart still in it.
(WATCH BELOW: Head-on crash along Morganton highway has drivers asking for safety precautions)
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