NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police on Tuesday were looking for eight suspects who they said robbed a Family Dollar store and assaulted an employee in Brooklyn.
As CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reported, the Saturday night robbery at the store on Atlantic Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant was caught on camera. Eight men stole nine tower speakers and then assaulted a 24-year-old employee with shopping baskets when he tried to stopped them, police said.
The employee suffered minor injuries.
In the video, the employee is seen desperately trying to keep the suspects out of his store singlehandedly. Some of them are seen pushing through his arms as he tries to fend off the others.
Seconds later, one of the suspects run out with a box of speakers – and then more follow. But then they return, pulling open the front doors and throwing shopping baskets at the clerk’s head.
Customers who saw the chaotic video said they were horrified.
“For those young thugs acting so thuggish to come in here like that – it’s horrible,” said customer Phyllis Rice. “The man, the guy had to stand there and defend the store. They’re throwing crates, robbing — that’s horrible.”
“It’s a shame — they shouldn’t have did that,” said customer James Bowens. “Spend your money. No need to be stealing.”
As CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported, police were back at the scene late Tuesday — hoping to compel the public to identify the men in the surveillance video.
Customers believe the employee did the right thing in trying to stop the robbery, despite the danger.
“He probably felt scared, because there was a lot of them and they could have had weapons or, like, guns,” said customer Briana Bueso.
“I see that he’s doing his job, but it’s really bad because these guys are fighting back, just for speakers,” said Saul Hernandez, who lives nearby.
Police hope someone will recognize the eight suspects. The speakers they stole were worth more than $350 combined.
On Tuesday, speakers were seen piled up in front of and behind the cash registers at the store. The manager was not allowed to speak on camera, and the clerk rushed by reporters on his way in.
The whole incident left many shoppers unsettled.
“I’m scared to come in here now,” said customer Michael Lewis, “because hey — they rob people right in front of the store, hit the clerk and all. They can do it to me, too.”
Police returned to the store Tuesday night to hand out cards, asking for anonymous tips about the suspects.
“I just hope that somebody, the cops or somebody gets them behind bars,” Hernandez said.
CBS2 asked if the clerk was getting a reward or would be commended in another way. In a statement, a Family Dollar representative would only say they are fully cooperating with local authorities.
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782), visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.
The cards mentioned a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to an arrest.