Police: Candle thief used bear mace on Florida mall patrons

U.S. & World

A close-up photo of police lights by night

MIAMI (AP) — A Florida man stole candles from a mall store and sprayed dozens of patrons with bear mace repellent before escaping, police said.

Investigators say the theft happened Saturday afternoon at a Bath and Body Works store in a mall in the Doral suburb west of Miami.

The unidentified suspect entered the store, filled a bag with candles, and then started spraying people with mace. About 35 people were affected, with some taken to a hospital for treatment.

A portion of the mall was evacuated Saturday.

Police say the suspect could face numerous armed robbery and aggravated battery charges once arrested.

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