Robbers armed with pepper spray target cell phone stores

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Three cell phone stores were robbed in three days, the suspects all using pepper spray as the weapon. Chicago police are looking for two suspects who attacked the clerks, one seen in surveillance images from a store wearing a long black wig parted in the middle.

Those pepper spray robberies happened at three different locations in the Gage Park and West Lawn neighborhoods, but all Boost Mobile stores.

One store owner shared surveillance images of a man standing at the counter waiting to pay for two cell phones, when he pulls pepper spray out of his pocket, sprays the clerk in the face and runs off with the phones. 

“Sick and tired of these people trying to get away with stuff,” said the owner of a store on South Cicero, who didn’t want to be identified. “It's a crime that should not even be committed - let them get a job.”

Yessica Valencia was first to be sprayed in the face Thursday afternoon - better now and back at work - she said the burning lasted three or four hours.

“I didn't know what had hit me until my face started burning,” she said. “It was hard to breathe.”

She said a man came in, asked for two new IPhones and even showed her money he was going to use to pay for them.  She started the sale and he pulled out the pepper spray.

“He sprayed my face and after that I couldn’t see anything - he took the one that I had in my hand and I guess he came around and grabbed the one other one that I had under the counter,” said Valencia.

The store owner said the criminals won’t be able to sell the phones because they lock the device and if someone tries to activate the phone they will be able to track it.

If you know anything about these crimes, call police.