O’FALLON, Ill. – Police in O’Fallon, Illinois are asking for the public’s help in identifying and locating three women who rushed into an Academy Sports, stole clothes, and assaulted an employee on the way out. The women could be facing charges for not only theft but also aggravated battery.
Police say they are familiar with grab and go robberies but these women used pepper spray to help them in their getaway.
It all happened at the Academy on Highway 50 Wednesday night around nine Wednesday night.
“I just can’t believe things like that would happen this close to home,” said Paul Pickens, an O’Fallon resident.
In pictures taken from surveillance video, three women rush in and grab what they can.
“They selected a bunch of merchandise off the shelves, mainly clothing, and then they exited the store without paying,” said Captain David Matevey, O’Fallon Police Department. “When they exited the store, one of the employees attempted to confront them and just ask him to put the merchandise back.”
Before getting away with arms full of clothes, one of the suspects pepper-sprayed the employee and then they sped off in a car.
“It’s kind of an anomaly for us to have somebody pepper spray an employee on the way out,” Matevey said.
Police described the suspects as African-American women in the late teens or early 20s, all with medium builds.
This theft comes weeks after a woman was charged for running over a Menards employee during a grab and go in west St. Louis County.
Police said it’s best to leave it up to law enforcement to stop shoplifters.