Staff assaulted by shoplifter

A Vernon man was charged after a Walmart loss prevention officer was assaulted on Monday night, RCMP said.

On June 24 just after 9 p.m., the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP responded to a report of a robbery after a shoplifter was confronted by a loss prevention officer.

"A man attempted to shoplift from the store and when confronted by the officer, threatened her with bear spray and fled the area in a vehicle," said Const. Kelly Brett in a release.

"During the altercation, the loss prevention officer sustained minor injuries after attempting to defend herself. The bear spray was not deployed by the suspect during the incident."

With the detailed description provided by the loss prevention officer, RCMP members were able to locate the suspect and vehicle later that evening.

Keith Kendall, 30, from Vernon, was taken into custody and charged with attempted robbery, possession of stolen property and failing to comply with a probation order. 

"Despite being assaulted, the loss prevention officer was able to gather the information officers needed to further their investigation and apprehend the suspect later that evening," said Brett. 

"It’s fortunate that no other innocent bystanders were hurt during the altercation and that bear spray wasn’t deployed within the busy department store."

Kendall is scheduled to appear in court today.

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