Duluth police hunt for pepper-spraying shoplifter

Duluth police want help finding a suspected shoplifter who used pepper spray to effect a getaway.

A Walmart staffer spotted the woman stealing in the store on Pleasant Hill Road on Thursday and approached her as she left the store with a cart of hot items, Det. Bobby Johnson said Friday.

The woman gave the staffer a face full of pepper spray, burning the Walmart associate’s face and eyes, Johnson said.

“The Walmart employee suffered a brief loss of her vision and had difficulty breathing,” he said in an email. “After the attack, the female pushed her shopping cart full of stolen items to her vehicle, which appears to be either a newer model dark in color Dodge Charger or Challenger.”

The alleged thief came armed and ready with the chemical agent, which she kept in hand while trolling the store for goods, Johnson said.

Police Friday released surveillance photographs of the suspect. Anyone with information about the woman is asked to call 678-957-7287 or email bjohnson@duluthpd.com.