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Police looking for shoplifter who stole car to get away

Police are searching for a shoplifting suspect who then carjacked a woman's Toyota to get away from store personnel who'd chased him Wednesday afternoon in East Rockaway.

The incident occurred at the CVS store on Ocean Avenue about 3 p.m., Nassau County police said. The suspect is described as being about 6-foot tall with an average build and brown hair. He wore glasses, a blue windbreaker and jeans.

Police said the stolen car was a gray 2010 Toyota Corolla with New York plates. The license plate is EVW1600, police said.

The man was seen "shoplifting assorted store merchandise" and the store manager and an employee followed the thief out of the store, chasing him west on Prospect Avenue, police said. Police said the man was confronted by the employees and that a struggle ensued, at which time the store manager recovered the stolen property. The items were described by police only as "assorted merchandise" with a value of $416.

While the merchandise was recovered, police said the thief fled -- followed by the employees. Police said the suspect then confronted a woman about to enter her running car, "pushed her out of the way" -- and stole the vehicle.

Witnesses attempted to stop the suspect, trying to pull him from the Toyota, but police said the man "put the car into reverse, struck a parked vehicle directly behind him" -- and drove across the victim's lawn, fleeing the scene. The car had not been recovered as of Thursday morning, police said.

Police are asking anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 800-244-TIPS. All calls will remain confidential.

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