WESTERLY — Police are seeking help from the public in identifying a man who stole $175 in gift cards left behind by a customer at a Walmart register on Christmas Eve.

Westerly police on Tuesday released an image of the man on social media, and Police Chief Shawn Lacey said the department was following some leads in the case.

"We have been able to verify on camera that he took the items in question and are working with banks to try and determine if we can ID him through use of a credit card," Lacey said. "Unfortunately there is only so much information available on store receipts, so we are asking the public for help in IDing him as well."

The man was in line behind a disabled woman who bought seven $25 gift cards for various locations, and other items. The woman, who was operating a motorized store cart, accidentally left the bag with the gift cards behind and took off. She tried to return later, but the store was closed. Police said she reported the thefts after talking to the store's staff when they reopened on Dec. 26.

Lacey said officers obtained surveillance images that showed the man looking into the bag the woman had left behind, and then  adding his own purchase to the bag and leaving.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Officer Greg Barna at 401-348-6175 or the Westerly Police Department non-emergency line at 401-596-2022.


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