Medical Lake store employee assaulted during snack food theft - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Medical Lake store employee assaulted during snack food theft

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MEDICAL LAKE, Wash. -

An employee of Denny's Harvest Foods is recovering after she was assaulted as she tried to stop a shoplifter. Witnesses said the female suspect tried to steal snacks and when caught, the man grabbed the employees arms so she could run off.

"It was just chips, a Snapple, some cookies, snack food really," said victim Crystal Adams-Haynes. "Apparently, it was worth it to her."

Crystal said she's seen too many shoplifters over the years. She always tries to step in. It's never escalated quite like this.

"I said I need to see what's in your bag, she made a turn to run," Crystal said. "We struggled at the door. I was trying to wrestle her in."

That's when the suspect hit or elbowed Crystal in the jaw while yelling for her male accomplice.

"A guy came running out of nowhere," she said. "He yelled at me to let her go. Customers were videotaping, taking pictures."

In those pictures, you can see the alleged thief in the bottom corner and the man pinning Crystal's arms back.

"He grabbed this hand and then this one," she said. "He had me up this high."

Witnesses said the man then raced out with the woman. They sped off in a small light colored car. Crystal said she's left in both pain and shock.

"I didn't realize the danger until it was almost over with and then I'm like, what am I doing?"

Deputies are investigating. They said because this was a shoplifting case that escalated to violence, those suspects will now be facing a felony robbery charge. 

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