MCALESTER, Okla. — This wasn't your ordinary case of shoplifting.
Three men entered the McAlester Wal-Mart, unlocked the security case, took 28 Nintendo 3DS game systems valued at $5,599 and walked out the front door, according to McAlester Police Det. Sgt. Chris Morris.
Police believe the theft, which occurred at 3:15 a.m. on Dec. 5, is connected to similar Wal-Mart burglaries occurring in nine other states, where Morris said the "MO", or method of operation, of the crimes was the same.
"I think (the) FBI is going to talk to Wal-Mart and step in and help us on this incident," he said.
According to police, stores in Ada, Oklahoma and Madill, Oklahoma, were also hit, along with Wal-Marts in Texas, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Tennessee, Minnesota, Nebraska, Illinois and Kentucky.
Police don't yet know if any store employee was involved.
"At this time we’re keeping all our options open. We don’t know how they got the key," Morris said. "Wal-mart, they have their own loss prevention (department) and we’ll work together with Wal-Mart and other agencies."
Morris said the men were in the store for a little more than 15 minutes and walked out the front door with the items. Police speculated the store alarm did go off but the thieves were still able to get away.
Morris said the police have video footage of the incident, but noted that it's "not great." The three suspects are black males with a white SUV seen in the Wal-Mart parking lot prior to the burglary.
Perry writes for the McAlester (Okla.) News.