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Suspected Serial Shoplifter Of Metro Wal-Mart Stores Charged

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Tommie Ashcraft Tommie Ashcraft

Prosecutors have charged a man suspected of shoplifting from several Wal-Mart stores in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area.

The suspect, Tommie Ashcraft, had eluded police for nearly a month as officers pieced together an investigation.

Police say the suspect has been banned from Wal-Mart property on numerous occasions. In fact, store employees know exactly what he looks like; but, the suspect could not seem to stay away.

Ashcraft was sitting in the Oklahoma County jail late Wednesday facing a larceny charge.

"[Shoplifters] make [shopping] hard, especially with everything as high as it is already," Wal-Mart shopper Karri Hand said.

Store employees at the Edmond Wal-Mart at Danforth and Santa Fe tell police the suspect is violent and has been ripping off stores for quite some time.

"You don't hear about any crime in Edmond," Wal-Mart shopper Samantha Roper said.

Twenty miles away from Edmond in Midwest City, officers are hearing the same story.

"It makes me not want to go to Wal-Mart by myself," Roper said.

Some customers say it seems like shoplifters are common at Wal-Mart. Those customers are worried that if criminals can steal from the store, they can target shoppers as well.

"I think they need to do the time and be in [jail] for a while," Hand said. "They [will] get out eventually, and they'll do it again."

So far, police have accounted for roughly $600 worth of stolen items. The tally is expected to climb.

Police say Ashcraft did not have elaborate plans to steal items. He would simply load up his cart and walk right out the door of the store.

Ashcraft already had warrants out for his arrest when Midwest City police arrested him. He is being held on $45,000 bond.

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