APD: Machete-wielding man arrested at Midtown Walmart
A machete-wielding man who authorities say previously robbed a Midtown department store struck again -- this time at Walmart.
Anchorage Police say that last Wednesday, an officer was dispatched to check out a possible robbery at the Walmart located at 3101 A St. The officer who responded spoke with the store's loss prevention officer who said a man had picked out some items from the store and walked out without paying. When the store's officer confronted the suspect, the man "waved a machete at him and continued to walk away with the merchandise," according to charging documents.
Shortly after police responded, a man who matched the description of the suspect was found outside the Walmart by another responding officer. According to charging documents, the officer saw the man was carrying two backpacks with a machete in a sheath hanging off one of them.
Police identified the suspect as 46-year-old Hugo De la Cruz, who also had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. De la Cruz was read his rights and then reportedly agreed to tell officers his side of the story.
"The defendant state that he was in the store and was there to buy items with food stamps. The defendant saw people following him from the store but claimed he did not steal anything," charging documents read.
Officers searched his backpacks and found multiple items that matched the description of stolen merchandise from the store. An officer also reviewed surveillance footage of De la Cruz which showed him inside Walmart carrying the machete outside of its sheath.
Police say he stole three items totaling $146.92.
De la Cruz's outstanding warrant was related to a similar robbery at Sears.
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