Police are searching for two people accused of stealing baby formula after one of the suspects threw their child at a security guard as they made their getaway.
Officers from the Springfield Town Police Department said the pair – a man and a woman – had been attempting to leave a Philadelphia Target supermarket with a backpack full of unpurchased cans of baby milk when they were stopped at security.
At the time the two had also been carrying a child in a car seat.
However, as the man was called to the back room of the store by a shop security official he hurled the car seat – with the child still inside – at the employee.
After throwing the child he was able to make his escape.
“He threw the baby at them” Springfield Township Police Chief Joe Daly told WPVI-TV news.
“It was in the car seat, the car seat tipped and then slid along the floor and rolled over – and then the baby rolled out”.
The security guard went on to look after the baby until the women who had fled returned.
Identifying herself as the child’s mother, she was given the baby before she escaped the shop for a second time.
Officers have reportedly responded to three cases of formula theft from the shop in the space of three days. It is not known if the cases are related.
Police have claimed the essential is stolen to be sold on at small independent shops for reduced prices, although the phenomenon is linked by others to widespread poverty across swathes of the US.