Police: Shoplifting gone wrong and a victim pepper sprayed in Eureka

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by Jasmine Huda / News 4 and Ruella Rouf / KMOV.com

KMOV.com

Posted on May 15, 2014 at 10:50 PM

Updated Thursday, May 15 at 11:40 PM

(KMOV.com) – A camera caught a shoplifting suspect as he attacked another customer with pepper spray outside a southwest St. Louis county store.

Eureka Police said the incident happened outside of a Walmart off of I-44

The man allegedly stole a car radio and was running from store security. Camera footage showed the man trying to enter a vehicle but was unsuccessful. He then ran across the lot to a woman who was unloading groceries.

"You can tell by the actions of the other people, several people on the parking lot came to her aid when she started screaming," said police Sgt. Tom Wille with Eureka police.

Wille said that man pepper sprayed the woman, grabbed her purse, and took off with her vehicle.

Thomas Taylor, 26, of St. Louis was caught and charged. Police said they had a warrant to arrest Taylor' for another case, so they were able to pick him up.

Police said the victim’s vehicle was later recovered in St. Louis that night. The victim was not seriously injured but was shaken up.

Sgt. Wille said this incident is a reminder to be aware of surroundings, even in parking lots. 

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