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Police need help identifying man who wore mask improperly while scamming area Walmarts out of cash

Public health officials for months have emphasized the importance of wearing face masks to slow or prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. However, face masks are only effective if they’re worn covering the nose and mouth. When worn pulled down on the chin, they do not protect you from potentially spreading or contracting disease and they also do not do much to keep you from being identified by store surveillance cameras if you’re committing a crime. A man exposed himself to both threats last week while performing a cash back ripoff at a local store. The incident happened on July 6th at the Shugart Road Walmart. Shortly after 1:30 pm, a man wearing a surgical mask pulled down over his lips walked to the store’s self-checkout area and made a purchase, requesting and receiving $100 cash back from the kiosk. The suspect then walked over to a cashier (wearing a mask properly, but not enjoying the added protection of the suspect’s mask) and made another small purchase. The suspect showed the cashier his receipt from the initial transaction, claiming to have been charged for the cash back at the self-checkout but claiming to not have received the cash. The cashier then mistakenly gave the suspect $100 in cash and the suspect left the store. Loss prevention employees from Walmart say the same suspect successfully performed the same scam at stores in Ft. Oglethorpe and Calhoun.

The suspect is a male with short dark hair and facial hair. He wore a blue and white t-shirt with flip flops and the blue medical mask/chin guard. At the store in Calhoun, the suspect was recorded leaving in a white or silver Lexus passenger vehicle with apparent damage to the right rear bumper and a red bumper sticker. Investigators were not able to get an information return using the vehicle’s license plate, which could have been swapped from another vehicle. If you recognize this suspect or have information on this crime, please contact Detective Clinton Travis at 706-278-9085, extension 9-231.