Lebanon police, firefighters and public safety officials secured the scene of an active methamphetamine lab found inside a car in the Walmart parking lot in Lebanon on Saturday afternoon.
Police Sgt. Joe Nokes responded to a shoplifting call at the Walmart Supercenter at around 2:30 p.m. According to Nokes, the stores loss prevention team saw a man and woman take cold compresses and batteries out of the store without paying for them.
Nokes said lithium in batteries and ingredients in cold compresses are commonly used to make meth.
He said the couple tried to get into a red Saturn car, but the loss prevention members stopped them. The woman got into another waiting vehicle and left, but Nokes cited the man for misdemeanor shoplifting before he left on foot.
Nokes said he called in a K9 unit, and the dog alerted officers to the presence of drugs.
An active “shake-and-bake” meth lab was found in the trunk of the car. Police meth technician Chris Luna was then called to the scene, along with firefighters and public safety officials to secure the area surrounding the car.
Luna said the lab was active. Officers said they also found two additional jars filled with liquid that tested positive for meth, along with ingredients commonly used to make meth, in the car.
Officers also found a prescription pill bottle with a man’s name on it that matched the name of the suspect cited for shoplifting. Police are currently searching for the suspect, but couldn’t hold him at the time on the misdemeanor charge.
The suspect’s name wasn’t immediately available.
State meth task force agents were called in to properly dispose of the lab and ingredients.