Target Shoplifter Hurls Baby at Security Before Fleeing Store: Police

A man who was caught stealing baby formula from a Pennsylvania Target last week is being sought after throwing a child at security before fleeing the store.

The Springfield Police Department appealed to the public yesterday, asking for information about a man and woman allegedly linked to the incident, which took place on December 10 at 1200 Baltimore Pike, Delaware County. Officials released images of the two suspects.

Investigators said there were multiple reports of formula thefts at the Target the same week, describing the product as a "high-ticket item" to WPVI.

According to police, the couple were seen placing cans of the formula into a backpack the man was carrying and trying to leave without paying.

The woman left the Target, but when the male was confronted he threw a car seat that was holding the child at security and fled the retail outlet.

"He threw the baby at him, it was in a car seat, the car seat tipped, it went sliding on the floor, fell over, and the baby rolled out," Springfield police chief Joe Daly told WPVI, saying the theft was a way of "generating money."

Police said Target security tended to the infant and contacted 911. Before officers arrived, the woman returned and took the child back from store employees. WPVI reported the child was believed to be under a year old. The baby's condition was not known, authorities said.

The detective investigating the case has been contacted by Newsweek for comment. On Facebook, police asked the public for any information that could help identify the two suspects.

While a motive is unclear, investigators say the theft was probably not carried out for the child's welfare. "They're selling it for their own benefit to make a profit on it," chief Daly told CBS Philly, describing the shoplifting cases. "They go into these stores, steal the baby formula, then they sell it at a reduced price to the mom and pop stores [which] sell it at an inflated price."

Earlier the same day, at the same Target, a 39-year-old man, Scott Christopher Bond, was seen filling a cart with $424 worth of baby formula and trying to leave the store without paying. Bond was detained by police and charged with Retail Theft, a police release said.

On December 12, a 25-year-old woman identified as Sharon Latish Green-Edwards was cited for Retail Theft after attempting to flee the store with $104 worth of the formula.

It is not yet known if the thefts are connected. The couple accused of throwing the infant could possibly face additional charges such as endangering the welfare of a child, WPVI reported.

Customers walk outside a Target store August 14, 2003 in Springfield, Virgina. Alex Wong/Getty