Wauwatosa police are seeking a man who on successive days, during retail thefts at two different Walgreens stores, flashed a large hunting knife at employees who tried to stop him or his accomplices.
According to the police reports:
At 4:05 p.m. Friday, during a retail theft of liquor by a woman at the Walgreens at 10800 W. Capitol Dr., her male companion brandished a knife at two employees.
A store manager there said that the two were in the liquor section and kept opening the doors on a display, which repeatedly triggered an intercom announcement that “Assistance is needed in the liquor department.” He noticed that neither of the two appeared old enough to drink.
The manager saw the young woman take a bottle of vodka and a bottle of bourbon and hide them in her coat. He approached and asked if he could ring up those purchases, and she declined and handed over the vodka.
“How about the Jack Daniels?” the manager said, whereupon the woman ran for the doors. The manager and a store security guard followed, and the woman’s companion ran out behind them.
In the parking lot, the manager could not get the woman to halt and was advised by his security guard to let her go. When they turned back, they found the woman’s accomplice staring at them and saw him draw a large knife out of a sheath at his waist. He waved it in front of him, and the two employees backed off as the suspect circled to put himself between them and the woman.
An area check by police did not turn up any sign of the two subjects.
Suspect gives back phone but still shows weapon
At 8:07 p.m. Saturday, police were called to the Walgreens at 6600 W. State St. on a report of an armed robbery, which turned out to be only a slight exaggeration.
A manager told officers that a man she confronted about a suspected retail theft had displayed a large knife in a threatening manner before he left the store.
It began when she was called out of her office by a cashier who said that three men, one carrying a small child, had come in together, and she had seen one of them taking a cell phone from a display.
The manager saw there was a phone missing from the display and then found the empty packaging on the floor. She approached the group and asked the one she suspected about the phone.
He said he had it and would put it back, but he did not. His companions left the store, but he was stopped by the cashier, who told him she believed he still had the phone. They got into an argument, and the manager tried to break it up.
When she told the man to give back the phone, this time he did walk back into the merchandise aisles and drop the phone on a shelf.
Then he and the cashier got to arguing again, and again the manager tried to break it up and herd him out the door. She bumped his arm in the process, she said, and when that happened, he told her not to touch him and opened his coat to reveal a large hunting knife in a sheath. He pulled the blade almost out of the sheath in a threatening manner before turning and leaving.
The suspect was seen inside Metcalfe’s Sentry Foods briefly just after that incident.
Police believe the same man is responsible for both incidents based on the descriptions of him, his actions and the weapon.
The suspect is described as black, 20 to 30 years old, 6 feet tall, 150 to 180 pounds, with his hair in a short afro, wearing a two-tone jacket with light brown shell and darker brown sleeves, and blue jeans. He was said to have worn the same jacket in both cases.
The knife he carried was described as being about 8 inches long, with a wide blade, serrated along the back and with several holes along the upper length of the blade. The suspect carried it in a plain black leather sheath at his waist.