HIGHLANDS, CO., Fla. (WFLA) — The search is on for a 24-year-old Avon Park woman police say stole from Walmart then pepper sprayed and swung a knife at store associates to get away with stolen items.
The Lake Wales Police Department said Doranda Jo Ussery entered the Walmart at 2000 State Road 60 East Sunday just after 5:45 a.m.
Police said Ussery shopped for over two hours before ringing herself up at the self checkout registers. As she was leaving the store, Loss Prevention approached her and told her not to forget to pay for the sunglasses and backpack she picked up and was wearing.
Police said Ussery told security she didn’t want the glasses anymore and the backpack belonged to her boyfriend. So after paying $16.34 for the multiple bags of items she was carrying, she headed toward the exit.
Ussery set off the security alarms while passing through the points of sale and was stopped by a sales associate. Loss Prevention caught up to them and asked Ussery to return to the store. Police said Ussery fled through the parking lot but dropped identification cards with her name on it, allowing Walmart security to identify her.
Having dropped her cards, police said Ussery turned around and followed security back into the store and into the Loss Prevention office.
Ussery reportedly told security she would return the stolen items if Walmart did not call police. She reportedly told them she was on probation and had two children.
Associates recovered $358.23 of stolen items and began doing their paperwork. Before being able to contact police, Ussery removed a can of pepper spray and sprayed it in the store employees’ faces, police said.
The police department said Loss Prevention was able to remove the pepper spray from Ussery’s hand, but she then took out a 3-4 inch knife and began waving it in stabbing motions.
Surveillance video shows Walmart associates were able to escape the office, blocking Ussery’s knife swings in the process.
Ussery fled out of the office and into the parking lot. She reportedly entered the passenger side of a red Chevrolet Cruz and left the area.
Police eventually located the driver and vehicle, but not Ussery.
The Lake Wales Police Department said Ussery is still at large and urges anyone with information on her whereabouts are urged to contact Heartland Crime Stoppers at 800-226-8477.