COSTA MESA, Calif. (KABC) -- Authorities are asking the public to help them identify women who are suspected of stealing purses from a Costa Mesa store and attacking a man who tried to stop them.
"They fled the scene. They pepper sprayed an employee that tried to stop them. We are actively looking into this," said Roxi Fyad, with Costa Mesa police.
The store, called Treasures, is located inside the Mitsuwa Market Place at Paularino Avenue and Bristol Street. The manager said the employee is OK, just shaken up.
Police said the women walked into the store around 7:30 p.m. Sunday after the store had closed. They got away with more than 10 bags, many of them valued around $1,000 or more.
Surveillance video from the shopping center showed three of the women running out the back door.
Police and security guards believe the women had been to the store earlier in the day, canvassing it and picking out what they wanted to take.
"If they see something, say something. If they see something suspicious, if they see people casing anywhere in a shopping center - report it," Fyad said.
The manager said thieves targeted the Torrance location last month. She believes this is the same crew, but police have not confirmed that.
"The good thing is that we do see some of the faces so we're hoping that anyone out there can find them and contact Costa Mesa PD," Fyad said.
Anyone who recognizes any of the women is urged to call Costa Mesa police.
The manager of the market place met with all the tenants Monday morning to stress the importance of being aware, especially during the busy holiday season.
4 women sought for brazen purse robbery at Costa Mesa store