Authorities are searching for a man who police say steals from Walmart while wearing a store employee vest. (Fairfax County Police Department)

Authorities are searching for a man who may be stealing from Walmart stores by wearing an employee vest and who, on one recent occasion, used a ruse to get a cashier to walk away from their logged-in register, Fairfax County police said Thursday.

Police said the unidentified man walked up to a cashier at the Fair Lakes Shopping Center store around 4 p.m. on Dec. 15. He told the cashier that he was needed in the office and, after the cashier left without logging out of the register, proceeded to check out a customer before taking an undisclosed amount of cash.

Officer Kenneth Bridgeman, a police spokesman, said the thief later fled in a silver Honda.

Bridgeman said investigators have not determined how the man got hold of an employee vest but suspect that he may have also stolen from Walmart stores in Maryland and in Farmville, Va.