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Thieves pepper-spray Scottsdale business owner, steal $25K worth of purses

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Posted at 9:45 PM, Dec 20, 2021

SCOTTSDALE, AZ — Targeted by thieves. A violent clothing store robbery in the Valley with employees getting pepper-sprayed!

The whole thing was captured on surveillance video at Urban Exchange off Scottsdale Road and Bell.

The thieves' brazen attack inside this Scottsdale store has the long-time owner changing the way she's doing business.

A sign on the door, from the owner, tells customers the door is locked and they must call asking to enter one-by-one to shop.

The video starts by showing a man and a woman walking down the middle of Urban Exchange on Sunday.

"We knew what was going on because he is so bold. He comes over here and starts taking bags of course,” said Robi Eldred.

The surveillance video then shows the man snatching bags and the woman pepper spraying the store's owner and her employee.

"It was like water. It was kind of cool and was then instantly it felt like fire. My whole face was on fire,” added Eldred.

As Eldred shows ABC15 the video, she explains the moment her eyes were burning and her mind was racing.

"I am terrified because I did not know what was going on and I could not see. I am flushing my face with water,” added Eldred.

She ran out the back door to get help.

And says, this is not the first time thieves have preyed on her store recently.

Scottsdale police confirm a report of shoplifting at the store last Monday, another report of shoplifting Wednesday, and an armed robbery on Sunday.

But, there have been no arrests.

"It just makes me angry that someone can come in and physically do something to hurt us," added Eldred.

Eldred estimates the thieves have snatched $25,000 worth of inventory in all three incidents and thinks they are hitting other nearby stores as well.

"I just don't know what to do anymore. I am a little lost. Do I keep the door locked? Do I hire a security guard?” added Eldred.

She wants anyone who recognizes the purse-snatchers to call police.

"So, they don't go to the next one, or come in with a gun next time, or knife or whatever it is, “ added Eldred.