A fight ensues after an employee tries to stop a woman suspected of shoplifting. Surveillance video captured the incident that happened inside JC Penny at Fashion Fair mall last Wednesday.
Fresno Police say they often see petty thefts but what's becoming more common are physical assaults when attempting to apprehend the suspects, making it a more serious crime.
Surveillance video from JC Penny shows one of three robberies that became violent, within the last week. Two African American female suspects are seen acting suspiciously.
"They start selecting items, they're putting them in their purse, its $180 worth of merchandise that was stolen from the store," Sgt. Mark Hudson said. He added that prop 47 makes it a petty theft but because the suspects violently assaulted loss prevention agents when they tried to stop them, it's now a felony robbery.
He also said a similar case happened that same day. Brandon Whetten was arrested for allegedly stealing more than $500 worth of merchandise from Home Depot and assaulting loss prevention agents.
"At this time last year we've seen a 42 percent increase in robberies city wide. These do include the petty thefts that have turned into robberies so certainly we've seen an increase in those type of robberies as well," Sgt. Hudson said.
Over the weekend Isaiah Snowden was arrested for robbery after stealing 2 cans of beer at a Food Maxx on W. Shaw and fighting with loss prevention agents causing minor injuries
"It's certainly something we don't want to see happen, we don't want people getting injured for a small amount of money," Sgt. Hudson said.
Now officers need the community's help identifying the two suspects seen in the video who are believed to be 21 and 41 years old. Anyone with information is asked to contact crime stoppers at 498- STOP.
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