GASTONIA, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – It was a shopping spree, but not the legal kind.

Gastonia police are working to identify a thief who snatched almost $19,000 worth of iPads and iPhones from a Walmart by making it to the back “employee-only room” undetected by workers.

The theft, which was caught on surveillance video, happened Monday night at the Walmart on E. Franklin Boulevard in Gastonia.

“The suspect manages to avoid being seen by anybody,” said Rick Goodale with the Gastonia Police Department.

The video shows a thief ducking down and hiding and even wiping off the door knob to avoid leaving prints in between stuffing iPhones and iPads into their shirt and walking out with the edges of the electronics visible through their clothing.

“It appears the suspect put the items under clothing and realized, ‘This is going to be way too easy to see what I’m doing,’ so at that point, they came up with a second plan that they had so many items that they found some other way to get those items out of the store,” Goodale said.

Police said the suspect unloaded the items from their shirt and hid them in another “employee-only” area, only to come back with a suitcase to pack up their massive haul of high-end electronics. The suspect got out of the store undetected, pushing a shopping cart with the iPhones and iPads hidden in the suitcase.

Police saidthe electronics had serial numbers, which they hope will lead them to the thief.

“When we have cases like this, especially this high dollar amount, the companies they aren’t going to just absorb that loss,” Goodale said. “They’re going to pass it down to the consumer, so these types of cases do affect all of us.”

Gaston County Crimestoppers is offering up to $1,000 for information that helps lead to an arrest.

Walmart referred all questions about the incident to police.