The police have apprehended a 34-year-old man from Vero Beach after stealing merchandise from the Walmart store in Sebastian.
The incident occurred on Friday around 10:00 p.m. when a store loss prevention officer alerted the Sebastian Police Department about a man tampering with barcodes on items, resulting in him paying only $1.00 for each product.
By the time the officers arrived, the suspect had already fled. However, video surveillance footage revealed the sequence of events. The man was seen selecting a fuel injector and a backup camera before proceeding to the toys section, where he picked up a dart board. Using a modified barcode, he purchased the items for a mere $3.00, despite their actual value of $137.93.
As the suspect exited the store, a store employee confronted him. In his haste to escape, the man dropped the dartboard and made off in a white Jeep, taking the fuel injector and backup camera.
Fortunately, the store’s loss prevention officer identified the culprit as Wyatt Douglas Guy. His identity was confirmed through his bank card, which he had used for the transaction. The police further corroborated this by comparing his appearance to booking photos from previous theft-related arrests.
Approximately two hours later, the authorities received information about a white Jeep spotted near the railroad tracks behind the Walmart store.
Three uniformed officers from the Sebastian Police Department spotted the vehicle traveling south on the gravel portion of the tracks, an area marked with clear “no trespassing” signs. They immediately shouted, “POLICE, STOP!” and one of the officers even called out the suspect’s name since they could identify him through the open windows of the Jeep.
However, instead of complying, the suspect accelerated and turned toward the officers, prompting them to move out of harm’s way.
In pursuit the officers chased the Jeep, which promptly turned off its lights and raced back through the Walmart parking lot before exiting onto U.S. Highway 1. They attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but it took a little while before Guy finally brought the vehicle to a halt just after crossing the bridge in Micco.
When the police approached him, they questioned his motive for fleeing, to which he claimed ignorance, mistaking the officers for railroad employees.
During a background check on Wyatt Douglas Guy, authorities uncovered a troubling record of past retail thefts. At the time of the incident, Guy was under supervised release, and he wore an ankle monitor as part of his monitoring program.
Upon searching his vehicle, the police discovered multiple barcodes that were used to manipulate the prices of Walmart merchandise, allowing Guy to pay significantly lower amounts.
In addition to this discovery, law enforcement officials found two opened Suboxone strips in Guy’s wallet. Suboxone is a controlled substance primarily prescribed for treating opioid use disorder.
The police charged Guy with several offenses, including Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer, Petit Theft 3rd Degree (More than 2 Convictions), Trespassing, Possession of a Controlled Substance without a Prescription, Felony Flee & Elude, Felony Petit Theft, and 2 Counts of Violation Probation of Felony Offense.
Following his arrest, Guy was transported to the Indian River County Jail, where he is currently being held without the option of posting a bond since he violated his probation.