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Video Shows Robbery Suspect Pepper Spraying TJ Maxx Employee In Newton

NEWTON (CBS) - Video shows a woman allegedly robbing a TJ Maxx store in Newton and attacking a store employee on the way out the door. It is the second robbery in Newton in which the suspects attacked employees with pepper spray.

"We're asking people if you recognize the people that are being shown please give us a call," said Newton Police Lt. Bruce Apotheker.

The robbery at the Needham Street TJ Maxx store happened on Sunday. It started when two people with bright pink hair buns walked in. The suspect was wearing gray clothes.

Newton suspects
Suspect wanted in robbery at Newton TJ Maxx (WBZ-TV)

"The other one we would like, if anyone has any information on who that person is," Apotheker said.

Security footage shows the suspect leave with two designer Balenciaga handbags and a Saint Laurent hoodie, with a store clerk running behind her. The suspect is then seen pulling out a spray gadget and aiming it at the employee.

Newton robbery
Robbery suspect in Newton pepper sprays TJ Maxx employee (WBZ-TV)

"What we advise people is don't go after anybody. You don't know if there's going to be Mace in their hands, you don't know if it's a knife," Apotheker said.

It's frighteningly similar to an incident at a CVS store on Centre Street on February 7. Police say a person in pink walked out with a full shopping basket. Then police say another person pepper sprayed an employee who came after them. Police say the robber actually went back in a second time and stole a gallon of milk.

"Merchandise can be replaced, the police, our detectives can investigate it, but we just don't want to see anybody seriously hurt," Apotheker said.

The TJ Maxx employee went to the hospital to be treated. A spokesperson said they are thankful the employee has recovered.

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