Violent vitamin thieves: Crooks knock down store worker to escape with heaps of health supplies

vitWANTED IN PIERCE COUNTY —
Bold crooks willing to run over anyone in their way as they steal from Rite Aid stores in Pierce County.

Detectives in the Property Crimes Unit are sharing the surveillance video in hopes you can help put a stop to their thieving ways.

The video shows the violence over vitamins: A Rite Aid worker knocked to the ground after trying to stop a crew of crooks from stealing hundreds of dollars’ worth of health supplies.

These guys are bold: Not only does one of them flash signs at the camera as he enters the store, but just minutes after they escape out the door leaving that worker on the floor, Pierce County detectives say these same suspects were hitting another Rite Aid for more health supplies. The video shows them grabbing shopping baskets at the beginning and spending several minutes filling them with a bunch of vitamins, protein powders and weight loss pills. As they wrap up, the suspect in the blue hoodie and orange shirt with his hair in a ponytail makes it out the door, but when his two buddies are ready to bolt with the goods — that worker is waiting to stop them. The woman in the pink is a customer. She hangs back, seeing something’s up as the suspects and worker have a standoff.

Detectives think cracking this case could link them to many more similar crimes. "This is a group of people that are going out in an organized matter and stealing lots of merchandise to sell for profit,” says Pierce County Det. Ed Troyer. “These are people that are willing to meet force with force. They're physically fighting their way out of a store. They're physically fighting their way out of parking lots and they're blatantly taking things and not even trying to hide it, so we want to get them caught, because obviously they're going to keep doing it and we don't want anybody to get seriously hurt, or killed."

Again, this crew is believed to be behind several more cases and detectives are asking any other stores who have fallen victim to contact them.

So, if you recognize the suspects, or know anything about the crimes they're committing, call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS, or use the P3 Tips App.