VIDEO – Aggressive robbers mace employee and steal merchandise

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FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, IL (KTVI) - Bold robbers hit a Sports Authority in Fairview Heights and pepper-sprayed an employee.  Police are releasing surveillance video a robbery, hoping that someone may recognize the suspects.

Surveillance video from the night of September 17th shows three young men wearing dark clothing, walking with several feet between them.  They entered the Sports Authority store at Highway 159 and Highway 50 in Fairview Heights.  The camera then catches two of the men walking toward the back of the store where the clothing is on display. It's unclear where the third suspect is at this point. As they make their way out of the store one of the suspects shoots a  blast of pepper spray in the face of a female employee.

The thieves then carry arm loads of clothing, jackets and coats out of the store.  They run  out to the parking lot to a car and escape.  They got away with more than $3,000 worth of merchandise, much of it North Face clothing. The robbers were aggressive and organized.

Police say the thieves were in the store for just about two minutes.   The female employee who was maced had minor injures to the face and eyes.   The Sports Authority store in Fairview Heights relocated to a this new  location less than a year ago. Police say this is the first time the store has been robbed.

The suspects are believed to have escaped in a black Ford Escape SUV.  Anyone with information on the robbery is asked to call the Fairview Heights police department and ask for investigations.

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