Battle Ground police say they have arrested a shoplifter who was dressed like a Wal-Mart employee and was trying to steal a pallet lift loaded with merchandise. They also arrested an alleged accomplice and recovered a handgun.
The incident was reported at about 6 a.m. Thursday morning at the Battle Ground Wal-Mart store, 1201 S.W. 13th Ave. Store security officers reported that they had stopped a man wearing a Wal-Mart employee’s vest and work hat as he tried to make his way out of the store with a huge box of unpaid merchandise that he was carrying with a store-owned pallet lift.
The suspect, Daniel Steven Telford, 24, of Toledo, allegedly was trying to pass himself off as a new employee of the store, according to a police news release issued Friday afternoon. When stopped, he also allegedly had unpaid merchandise in his pockets and pants.
Police were then told that Telford and a woman had apparently made several trips in and out of the store for several hours. Officers went to the parking lot and stopped a van driven by Lani Rene Kraabell, 43, of Longview, as Kraabell attempted to drive away.
After obtaining a warrant, police searched the van and reported recovering a handgun, along with clothing and household goods bearing Wal-Mart store tags.
Telford was arrested on suspicion of second-degree theft and criminal impersonation, plus two prior arrest warrants. Kraabell was arrested on second-degree theft charges.