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Search continues for shoplifting suspect who forced lockdown of a school in Palmetto

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PALMETTO, FL (WWSB) - Surveillance photos have been made available showing a suspect accused of shoplifting a generator from the Palmetto Walmart.  The suspect was spotted by campus security Thursday afternoon near the Manatee County School for the Arts on Haben Boulevard, forcing a lockdown of the school.

"A rumor went out, I guess it starts with some of the kids at the school calling their parents saying there was an armed man on campus, that was never the case" said Chief Scott Tyler, with the Palmetto Police Department.  "This is a shoplifting suspect."

After a short while, the lockdown at the school was lifted.  Authorities searched a wooded area near the school where they believed the suspect had run off to, but came up empty handed.  Police are asking folks to keep an eye out for the suspect, who is said to be in his 40's or 50's.

"He's a white male, bald or balding, he has on black shorts and either a black long sleeve t-shirt or short sleeve t-shirt or maybe a long sleeve t-shirt with the sleeves rolled up and he seems to have a band tattoo on his left arm," said Tyler.

If you recognize the suspect or know his whereabouts, you're being asked to contact Palmetto Police immediately.

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