Fayetteville Police issue warning about needle-toting thief

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Police are warning the public to call authorities immediately if they see this shoplifting suspect.

Fayetteville police want you to be on the lookout for this guy. They say he's a menace to public safety.

Officers say his weapon is as lethal as any handgun or knife. It's a hypodermic needle.

"This is robbery with a dangerous weapon," Lt. Todd Joyce of the Fayetteville Police Department said.

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"This person pulls out a hypodermic needle and says 'I'm going to stab you if you don't move out of the way, and also I have a communicable disease," Joyce said.

Last week, police say the man threatened loss-prevention officers at a Walmart after he was caught shoplifting.

RELATED: POLICE SAY FAYETTEVILLE SHOPLIFTER THREATENED SECURITY WORKERS WITH NEEDLE

"Officers don't know what type of disease it is," Asia Cannon of the Fayetteville PD said. "At this point, they could be exposed to that disease if he does at some point stab them in any way."

Police say days later, the suspect did the same thing at a Home Depot store on Skibo Road.

"He again threatened those officers with a needle, then fled the area," Cannon said.

So far, police say the man has not made good on his threat. While police and store security officers are on high alert, some shoppers are terrified.

"Oh my gosh, this is horrifying," said shopper Barbara Ringler. "That is just absolutely horrifying. That does scare me a lot. I try not to go anywhere unless I have somebody with me."

Police have issued a public warning.

"If you know this individual, you recognize the photo, call us and let us get him in custody so no one is exposed to a nasty potential danger," Joyce said.

Anyone with information regarding the investigations or the identity of the suspect is asked to contact the Fayetteville Police Department at (910) 676-1539 or Crimestoppers at (910) 483-TIPS (8477).

Crimestoppers information can also be submitted electronically, by visiting http://fay-nccrimestoppers.org and completing the anonymous online tip sheet or by text-a-tip on your mobile device by sending a message to 274637 (in the text box type "4Tip" followed by your message).

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