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SCHERERVILLE — An alleged T.J. Maxx thief has three prior convictions related to theft and three other unrelated arrest warrants, police said. The suspect has been identified with the help of the public, however he still remains at large.  

Schererville police filed an arrest warrant for Joseph Robert-Paul Peppin, 29 of Griffith. Peppin has been charged with two counts of theft in relation to the T.J. Maxx incident, according to the Schererville Police Department.

Cmdr. Jeff Cook said readers helped identify Peppin.

"Our department received several calls and Facebook messages from the public to identify Peppin after his photo was posted in the original article," Cook said.

Peppin's three previous warrants were a result of possession of paraphernalia, driving while suspended charges and driving violation charges.

He had been convicted of burglary in March 2014, convicted of theft in November 2012 and was convicted of attempted theft in May 2013, according to court records.

At 4:16 p.m. Jan. 5 Peppin allegedly entered T.J. Maxx in the Town Square Shopping Center on Main Street, retrieved a shopping cart and concealed items inside a black sweatshirt he placed in his cart.

Police said Peppin tried to leave the store at 4:32 p.m. without paying when the loss prevention manager attempted to stop him. The suspect fled through the front doors on foot to a bicycle parked outside the business. 

Some of the stolen items were recovered, but not all of them.

Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to call the Schererville Police Criminal Investigation Division at 219-322-5000 or the Crime Tip Hotline at 219-865-4646.

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Breaking News/Crime Reporter

Anna Ortiz is the breaking news/crime reporter for The Times, covering crime, politics, courts, investigative news and more. She is a Region native and graduate of Ball State University with a major in journalism and minor in anthropology.