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Police in Saanich have released a photo of the alleged shoplifter who slashed the arm of a security guard at a Walmart in late December. (Saanich Police Department)

Police in Saanich have released a photo of the alleged shoplifter who slashed the arm of a security guard at a Walmart in late December.

The incident occurred around 10:45 p.m. on Dec. 28 outside the Walmart at the Uptown complex. At the time, a worker at the store told CTV News Vancouver Island that a security guard was stabbed while trying to stop the suspected shoplifter from leaving.

The victim suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries in the altercation.

In a news release Friday, Saanich police described the suspect as a white man between 40 and 50 years of age. He was wearing a red baseball cap and a black jacket at the time of the assault, and fled on a red BMX bike, which was last seen heading in the direction of Oak Street, police said.

Police also noted that he was carrying a backpack with "distinctive white piping around the edges."

Anyone who recognizes the suspect or has information about the incident is asked to call Saanich police at 250-475-4321. Tips can also be provided anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

After the incident, Walmart employee Jennifer Pauls said she frequently works with the security guard who was stabbed. She said his name is Randy, and she praised him as a diligent and observant employee. He often notices things other people don't, she said.

Pauls said she wasn't surprised to see that Randy had confronted a shoplifting suspect.

"I think that's just his nature," Pauls said. "People were saying, 'Oh, well, you know, you really shouldn't have gone after him,' but that's the kind of person he is. He takes his job very seriously."