FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. (KMOV.com) – Surveillance video at a Sports Authority store in Fairview Heights shows a clerk being pepper sprayed in the eyes while thieves run out with an armful of merchandise.
The Fairview Heights Police said the thieves were calculated, determined and aggressive. Surveillance video shows three men walking into the athletic store off of Illinois Rout 159. Within moments the clerk is pepper sprayed and the thief runs out with an armload of North Face apparel. A second suspect is also seen leaving the store with stolen clothes. The third suspect left the store empty handed.
Police said the whole operation took place in two minutes and the three men left the scene in a black Ford Escape.
“The victim posed no threat to them. She wouldn’t have provoked them or tried to stop them in any way,” said Officer Tim Mueller of the Fairview Heights Police. Mueller added that violent crime appears to be escalating in the St. Louis region.
The suspects could face felonies because of the alleged use of pepper spray in addition to stealing thousands of dollars in merchandise.