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Posted: Jan 15, 2007 6:31 pm
Shoplifters ignite chemicals at Stockbridge Wal-Mart

Published on: 01/15/07

Four young men mixed swimming pool chemicals in a Stockbridge Wal-Mart Sunday night, causing a small explosion to cover their shoplifting of a toy.

"It's just ridiculous," said Lt. Jason Bolton of the Henry County Police.

"It's just hard to believe they did something like this to shoplift something as insignificant as a toy."

"These guys turned a shoplifting misdemeanor into charges that will be at the very least be one of terroristic acts," Bolton said.

The four men came into the Wal-Mart on Hudson Bridge Road about 10:45 p.m. A store employee saw one of the young men stick a toy inside his pants. The employee went to get assistance, Bolton said.

During that time, the four men went to the area where swimming pool chemicals were stocked. They mixed a chlorine-based chemical with something else, which caused a small explosion and a white cloud.

"They made their escape in the chaos that ensued," Bolton said.

He said that four people, including one employee, were taken to the hospital complaining of respiratory problems. Three others were treated and released by emergency workers outside the store.

The Henry County Fire Department Hazardous Materials team was called in to help investigate and clear the store.
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