Santa Maria police are searching for a suspect who attacked two store clerks with pepper spray Friday to avoid being arrested for shoplifting.

The incident occurred at about 6 p.m. at the Walmart store at 2220 S. Broadway, Sgt. Russell Mengel said.

“The male suspect was contacted by Walmart loss prevention, who were attempting to stop him regarding a theft he had just committed,” Mengel said. “Upon being contacted, the subject became aggressive and deployed pepper spray, immobilizing both loss prevention officers.”

The suspect then left the store and fled on foot through the parking lot, Mengel said.

He was described as a white male, 20-30 years of age, 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-11, and weighing 150-170 pounds.

Police released a store-security photo of the suspect, who arrived in a gold, 1995 to 1998 Acura TL.

Anyone with information about the suspect or his whereabouts is asked to contact police at 805.928.3781 or Crime Stoppers at 877.800.9100.

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