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An alert Eureka Walmart employee foiled a pair’s alleged attempt to steal merchandise worth $1,029. The employee simply picked up items the man and woman allegedly had thrown over a fence in the store’s outdoor lawn and garden section before the two could retrieve them, Eureka Police reported.

The incident was reported at about 1 p.m. Jan. 4. An employee told police that the man and woman entered the store and went to the sporting goods section, where the man allegedly forced open a locked display case and took several standard binoculars and night-vision binoculars, the report said.

The pair then went to the automotive section, where the man allegedly entered an employees’-only section of the store and took two tires. The man and woman then went to the lawn and garden section and threw the items over the fence, according to the report.

They were then seen in surveillance video returning to their vehicle and driving toward the items. However, before the pair could reach them, an employee had picked up the merchandise and returned it to the store, Eureka Police reported.

The man and woman drove away from the store, and the vehicle they were in was last seen on Fifth Street near Workman Road, the report said.

As of Jan. 27, the man and woman had not been identified, Lt. Michael Werges said. Anyone with information about the attempted theft should call Eureka Police at 636-938-6600.