ITHACA, N.Y. — Ithaca police have arrested a man from Newark Valley who allegedly shoplifted from Walmart and when confronted by employees, displayed what appeared to be a handgun. However, it turned out to be a BB gun, according to police.

Officers from the Ithaca Police Department responded to a report of a person displaying a handgun during a shoplifting incident at Walmart in Ithaca. When approached by police, the man, identified as 37-year-old Gregory Desamours, allegedly placed his hand on the handle of what looked like a handgun tucked into the waist of his pants before fleeing the store with about $150 in stolen merchandise.

With a description of the vehicle, police said they were able to locate the vehicle with Desamours nearby between Lowes and Spring Buffet. They ordered five people out of the vehicle, police said in a news release.

Police said Desamours admitted the BB gun was his, and two BB guns were located in the vehicle. Police said the BB gun could “easily be mistaken for a real handgun.”

Desamours was charged with petit larceny and processed at the Ithaca Police Department. He was issued an appearance ticket for a later appearance in Ithaca City Court.

He was then turned over to New York State Police for warrants related to other charges in another jurisdiction, police said. He had a warrant for petit larceny from Hopewell Town Court, according to Aga Dembinska, public information officer for NYSP Troop C.

A second passenger in the vehicle was also wanted for unrelated charges and also turned over to NYSP.

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.