A theft early on the morning of Christmas Eve at Walmart escalated to a robbery after an employee sustained minor injuries while attempting to stop the suspect, police said.
    The suspect left behind a cart filled with $654 worth of merchandise but was able to drive away in a truck, police said. Police were able to identify the suspect and learned he is a suspect in at least $6,000 worth of thefts from Walmart in the past six months, police said.
    According to a report by officer Ray Slayton:
    Slayton was dispatched at 1:34 a.m. Sunday to Walmart on the theft call. Slayton searched the area while en route but could not locate the suspect vehicle. Based on statements from two Walmart employees and surveillance video, Slayton learned what happened.
    The employees stopped a man who left the store and the merchandise alarm sounded. One of the employees said there were numerous unbagged items in the man’s cart so she asked for a receipt. The man provided several receipts that did not match any of the merchandise.
    The employees asked the man to re-enter the store, and he appeared to be going back inside. But the man turned the shopping cart around and pushed past the female employee, who grabbed the cart. That caused her to be pushed against the front entrance door. The suspect ran into the parking lot, where a customer was able to get the cart away from the man. The suspect kept running, then got into a maroon truck and drove away.
    The employee who was pushed into the door said she felt pain and had a slight red spot on her elbow with possible bruising, and Slayton said he would be filing a robbery charge because of the injury.
    Police learned a possible name for the suspect after looking at Monygram receipts the suspect had left behind, and another employee identified the suspect after watching the surveillance video.