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Thieves hit Walmart for $46,000 in cellphones

Robberies took place in 2 counties on same day

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Fla. – The Lake City Police Department is searching for four people after nearly $50,000 worth of cellphones were stolen from Walmarts in Columbia and Baker Counties in the same day. 

Investigators said they arrived in what appears to be a silver GMC Terrain SUV, possibly a rental vehicle.

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Police said they used a shopping cart and grabbed a black rolling luggage bag and headed to the electronics section.

On May 11 around 6:30 a.m., the male suspect crawled behind the electronics counter and forcibly opened the storage cabinets, according to police.

At the same time, one of the female suspects kept watch and the other two distracted nearby Walmart associates, police said.

IMAGES: Suspects in Walmart thefts

Investigators said they left the store three minutes later with 39 cellphones worth $27,150.

After reporting the theft, the store manager learned the thieves hit up two other local Walmarts that day.

They stole $19,000 worth of cellphones at the Walmart in Macclenny, according to LCPD.

They attempted a theft at the Walmart in Live Oak the same day but were unsuccessful.

Lorraine Hyman, a former Walmart employee, said that she is shocked that something like this happened, especially with the priority Walmart places on security and stopping theft.

"Usually when they hit another store first, Walmart is usually on top of… I can't… I don't know how they did that. They're usually on top of stopping it, and preventing it. I used to work at Walmart and I've seen a lot of people get caught doing that," Hyman said. 

Hyman also said that she is pretty certain that the thieves will get picked up pretty soon. 

"It's not a smart idea at all. I wouldn't chance it for the world. Pretty much they're going to get caught. They're not going to let that slide, not with that amount of money, even if they get it reimbursed," Hyman said. 

Investigators also believe the four suspects committed a theft in Pearl, Mississippi, the day before.

The Lake City Police Department is asking anyone with information on these suspects to contact Investigator David Greear at 386-758-5451 or call the Police Department directly at 386-752-4343.