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Shoplifting woman sprays employee with pepper spray, flees mall

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Police said a suspect stole from a JCPenney store inside Lynnhaven Mall and assaulted an employee who tried to stop her.

According to Virginia Beach Police, the female entered the JCPenney store around 4:45 p.m. Friday. She concealed merchandise and exited the store without paying.

Police said that when loss prevention personnel attempted to stop the suspect, she sprayed the associate with pepper spray.

The suspect was last seen running to the mall parking lot.

The suspect is described as 25 to 30 years old, approximately 200 pounds with long braided hair. At the time of the incident, she was wearing a red shirt, black and white horizontally striped pants, red shoes and black eyeglasses.

Anyone with information regarding this crime is encouraged to call Virginia Beach Crime Solvers at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.  Tipsters will remain anonymous and could be eligible for a cash reward up to $1,000 if their information leads to an arrest.