Man hid in Hamilton Walmart after closing to steal electronics

Hamilton police are searching for a suspect who hid inside a Walmart and then went on a shopping spree after closing time, stealing $18,000 in electronics.

The "bold" and "unusual" theft happened July 26 at the 1115 Barton St. E. Walmart store.

Shortly before closing, the man entered the Walmart, walked down an aisle and hid inside a shelf behind product, said Det. Anthony Santostefano, of the BEAR (break, enter, auto-theft and robbery) unit.

Once the store was closed, but while there were still staff inside and the doors unlocked, he climbed out, grabbed a plastic bin and filled it up in the electronics section, he said. The man did not pass any staff and no alarms went off as he walked out.

Detectives waited until Thursday to release the suspect's image, because they initially hoped to be able to identify him by circulating the image internally, said Det. Sgt. Emidio Evangelista. But police have not been able to identify the suspect and are now asking the public for help.

He called this type of theft unusual. If caught, the man would face charges of theft over $10,000 and break out — the legal term for when someone enters a place legally, but leaves unlawfully after committing an offence.

"This is not common," Evangelista said, adding that police see this type of crime maybe once a year here.

Santostefano said police responded to a similar theft in Waterdown earlier this year, but police have not been able to link them. The image of that theft suspect was not clear.

In the Barton Street theft, the suspect is described as a 35- to 40-year-old white man, six-foot, 175 pounds, with dark brown short hair and a visible tattoo on his forearm. He wore a black shirt, dark shorts and dark running shoes.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Santostefano at 905-546-3849 or Evangelista at 905 546-2991.

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