Joplin police are investigating an alleged shoplifting incident that escalated into a strong-arm robbery Monday at Northpark Mall.
Cpl. Chuck Niess said a security employee of the J.C. Penney store tried to stop a woman from leaving the business with several dresses without paying for them, and got into a scuffle with her. But the suspect was able to escape with the merchandise, he said.
Niess said the woman has been identified but had not yet been arrested by late Tuesday afternoon.