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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Police officers are supposed to enforce the laws, not break them.
As WDRB has learned, that's what sent up red flags for Walmart employees when a man flashed a badge and gun, and then tried to leave the store with merchandise he didn't pay for.
Police say it happened at the Walmart on south Hurstbourne Lane last week. That's where the suspect allegedly walked out of the store with a cart filled with merchandise. When employees confronted him, he threatened them with a gun.
"He probably didn't think that he would get stopped just because of the badge and the gun," said LMPD Detective John Green. "I think he probably thought, 'I'll be able to come in, I'll look like a policeman and they probably won't question my motives.'"
But instead, Green says the suspect was stopped at the store exit and asked to show his receipt.
"The only thing he said was, 'I've got your receipt' when he pointed down at his gun," Green says. "And he kind of tapped it, and at that point, that's when he pulled it out and pointed it at everybody."
Police say the suspect is a black male who was wearing a shirt and tie. His image appears in surveillance video and in the still photos shown on the right of this story.
"I think it was air mattresses, several type things like that, and he just went right to the door ... you know, passed up the cashier area and went right to the exit," says Green.
Green also got a good description of the man's badge. "It resembled a star. If you've ever seen like a deputy sheriff's badge, it was similar to that. It wasn't like ours, which is more oval."
Police don't know if the badge was a knockoff, but Green says they take no chances when it comes to guns. "We always let people know, you assume the gun is real and it's loaded."
And that's why police want to hear from anyone who even thinks they recognize the suspect.
"Because you just don't know what his motives are," says Green.
Police believe the suspect was driving a newer model Toyota Corolla or Camry. Anyone with information should is asked to call the LMPD crime tipline at 574-LMPD. Callers can remain anonymous.