The Big Lots Store on Route 58 in Riverhead, where police said a shoplifter pulled a gun on a store manager when she attempted to stop him from leaving the store with a cart full of unpaid merchandise Nov. 23. Photo: Denise Civiletti

Riverhead Police are looking for a man they said pulled a handgun on a store manager yesterday when she tried to prevent him from leaving the store with merchandise he hadn’t paid for.

The manager of the Big Lots store at 1103 Old Country Road called 911 at about 5:40 p.m. to report that a man who was attempting to leave the store with a shopping cart full of assorted merchandise pulled a gun from his waistband and pointed it at her and another employee when the manager stopped him at the exit. As he pointed the gun at the employees he told them he did not have to pay for the merchandise, police said in a press release last night.

The manager had also just detained two women who were leaving the store with assorted unpaid merchandise in a baby carriage, police said. After the man pulled a gun on the store employees, he and the two women walked out of the store with the merchandise and into the parking lot, according to the report. Police said they believe the man and the two women got into a vehicle together and left the area prior to police arrival. Police said they believe the three suspects were “working in concert” but had not confirmed that.

Riverhead patrol officers, detectives and a K9 unit responded to investigate and canvassed the area without result.

The male suspect was described by police as Black, approximately 5’11” tall, of average build, in his late 40s to early 50s. He was unshaven, police said and was wearing a black jacket with a gray hooded sweatshirt underneath, black shoes, black pants and a black and gray knit cap. Police did not provide a description of the two women.

Anyone who may have information regarding the matter is asked to contact Riverhead Police at 631-727-4500.

Editor’s note: A criminal charge is an accusation. A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

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