By Talia Kaplan
Published September 09, 2019
A Southern California Best Buy worker was captured on surveillance video in a struggle with an alleged thief who police said threatened the employee with a knife and pepper spray while he tried to flee with smartphones from the Los Angeles location.
The armed robbery was captured on cameras inside and outside the store on W. Pico Blvd. around 7:45 p.m. on Thursday, according to a Los Angeles Police Department news release posted on Monday, which included the surveillance video.
Police said the thief walked into the Best Buy pushing a shopping cart that he loaded with several items, adding that security guards recognized the man, with whom they’ve had previous encounters.
The man took his cart to the cellphone counter, where he allegedly told an employee he wanted to buy two iPhones. The video shows the employee put two phones on the counter. The alleged thief is then seen grabbing and stuffing the phones into a brown satchel he was carrying before running toward the exit, police said.
The Best Buy employee is then seen on video chasing the man, trying to stop him before he got out the doors, but as they struggled over the bag, the suspect dragged the employee outside the store and into the parking lot.
Police said after the two wrestled, the suspect took out a knife and pulled pepper spray out of his bag, pointing it at the employee. That is when the employee decided to let go of the bag and the suspect took off, police said.
Police are still looking for the suspect.