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UPDATE: Shoplifter Caused Panic, Evacuation of Walmart in Union Police say

Union Township (Union)

Polive in Union said that a report of a man in the toy department at WalMart who wore a mask carried a gun was an alleged shoplifter.

According to police, at around 10:45 a.m. Thursday morning, a woman called police stating she observed a man wearing a black mask and holding a black gun in the toy department at the WalMart at 900 Springfield Road.

More than a dozen officers swarmed the Walmart then evacuated the establishment while they conducted their search police said.

Police say during their initial search and investigation, police located a black airsoft face mask in the toy department that matched the description given by the witness.

According to authorities, the suspects allegedly opened a sizeable black airsoft gun package. The airsoft gun matched the description of the weapon provided by the witness and the airsoft gun was also in the vicinity.

Police say based on their preliminary investigation, the witness who contacted police observed shoplifting in progress.

"We do not indicate that the suspect, described as a tall, heavyset black male wearing gray shorts and a gray tee-shirt, had the means or intent to cause harm to anyone," police officials said.

“I want to commend the swift and thorough response of the Union Police Department, under the leadership of Director Zieser, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, especially Chief Gagliardi and Sgt. Fay, the county’s Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, as well as the Joint Terrorism Task Force of the FBI,” said acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo.

“These brave individuals worked together in responding immediately to a call to protect the public we serve. Thankfully, this turned out to be a false alarm, but their prompt mobilization of resources and collaboration should be a comfort to the citizens of Union County.”