Richland shoplifting suspect fled Walmart after customer flashed firearm

Richland
Image credit: Richland WA Police Department, Facebook

RICHLAND, Wash. — A shoplifting suspect is at large in the Tri-Cities after fleeing from a Walmart customer who allegedly pulled a gun when they noticed the thief partaking in criminal activity.

According to officers from the Richland Police Department, they were dispatched to Walmart at 2801 Duportail St in Richland at 10:02 a.m. on June 29 for reports of a shoplift. Upon arrival, they made contact with the citizen who reportedly flashed a firearm to prevent the thief from running away with stolen goods.

RPD officials say the suspect fled the store before they arrived, but authorities located a suspected thief near the Duportail Bridge. A male suspect is accused of jumping into a canal to avoid police before fleeing into the brush near the Yakima River. They have not yet identified or located the suspect.

Their investigation confirmed that the citizen has a concealed carry license that allowed them to legally carry the weapon. Furthermore, the shopper did not point the gun at anyone—they simply made the theft suspect aware they were armed.

“We are thankful that citizens in our community want to help, but we would like to remind the public that introducing a firearm into a previously non-lethal interaction can be dangerous,” Richland Police stated. “Please call the police if you are witness to a crime.”

Anyone with information about the theft or the suspect is urged to contact the Richland Police Department immediately.

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