Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public's help identifying two men who they say stole several hundreds of dollars in water filters, and went on the attack when loss prevention officers tried to stop them.The incident happened at the Walmart located at 545 Pine Island Road, shortly after 4 p.m. June 14th. While in the general merchandise section, deputies say an employee spotted them loading up water filters, then placing them in store bags.
Without stopping at the cash register to pay, the men left the store through the garden exit, according to Crime Stoppers. Both the loss prevention officer and a store employee approached the suspects, at which point a struggle ensued between the four.
One employee was thrown to the ground and struck in the arm. During the altercation, another employee retrieved the cart filled with stolen filters, which deputies say prompted the suspects to hurl chairs and large landscaping bricks at the employee, causing minor injuries. The two men then quickly fled the scene in a black two door vehicle, deputies say. One of the men is described as having long dreadlocks, and the second male had very short hair. Upon their identification and arrest, both men not only face charges of larceny theft, but also two counts each of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, among other possible charges.“Rarely do we see thieves take such drastic measures when they steal from area stores,” said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator. “These men were clearly on a mission and had no problem resorting to violence in order to get away with the stolen merchandise.”The stolen water filters are valued at $746.