Man sprays Walmart cashier with gasoline, makes off with cash

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Just before 10 Monday morning, Fresno Police and Fire were dispatched to a Central Fresno Walmart for reports of a robbery. (KFSN)

Just before 10 Monday morning, Fresno Police and Fire were dispatched to a Central Fresno Walmart for reports of a robbery.

Police say the suspect is a Hispanic male, mid-40's, with facial hair and wearing a tan shirt.

"(He) came into the business, sprayed a liquid on one of the clerks, demanded money from the register, she complied, (and the) suspect then fled on foot," said Fresno Police Lt. Don Gross.

It turns out that liquid was gasoline, according to the Fresno Fire Department.

"(The suspect) made the threat that there was gasoline and they would cause a fire if they did not give them the money," said Fresno Fire's Pete Martinez.

The suspect didn't start a fire, and the store clerk that he sprayed wasn't harmed. Fresno Fire decontaminated her on scene before she was brought to the hospital for safe measure. They say it could have been worse.

"Obviously had they ignited this, the gasoline, that not only would have been dangerous for the person who was sprayed but everyone else in the store," Martinez said.

"My goodness, it's scary, especially when I bring my grandkids with me..." said Walmart shopper Angie Lopez.

Lopez is a regular shopper at the Walmart, and says her husband saw all the commotion after another armed robbery there last Thursday-which included the Crime Scene Bureau, which was on site Monday collecting evidence.

"But I was shocked to see it here now, and shocked to hear what happened," Lopez said. "I love this store."

It's an unusual crime, and police say it could be the same suspect from last week's robbery. In that case, police say the man used a gun, and got away on a silver or white mountain bike.

That suspect has tattoos on his calf and shin areas. He's Hispanic, in his mid-40's, and has a mustache.
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crimetrackercrimearmed robberyfresno police departmentfire departmentswalmartnewsfresnoFresno - Central
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