Annapolis store employee pepper sprayed after confronting shoplifter

An employee at a cosmetics store in Annapolis was pepper sprayed after trying to confront a suspected shoplifter on Friday, according to Anne Arundel County Police.

Two suspects are now being sought in relation to the incident — on shoplifting and second-degree assault charges — and a string of other thefts from other Ulta Beauty stores in the area, police said Sunday.

The incident Friday occurred at the Ulta Beauty in the Harbor Center shopping center in the 2500 block of Solomons Island Road, police said.

About 3:37 p.m., a woman entered the store and put about $1,000 worth of perfume into a shopping bag before walking out of the store "without making any attempt to pay for the merchandise," a store manager told police.

When another employee went to grab the bag from the woman near the store's exit, another woman standing outside pepper sprayed the employee, police said.

The two suspects then left the area in a white four-door vehicle with a shopping bag covering the license plate, police said.

The employee who was pepper sprayed was treated by responding medical personnel at the scene and then taken to an area hospital for further treatment, police said. The store manager was also affected by the pepper spray but declined treatment, police said.

Police were unable to locate the suspects or their vehicle during a search of the area following the incident.

The suspects matched the description of suspects in several other thefts from Ulta Beauty stores in the area, police said.

Any one with information can call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.

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