Shoppers hit with bear spray during robbery at Vancouver department store, police say

Police are searching for a robbery suspect who used bear spray in a department store filled with “dozens” of shoppers in Vancouver earlier this month. 

The incident happened at the Holt Renfrew at the Pacific Centre mall around 6 p.m. on Dec. 3, according to a statement.

Video released by Vancouver police Wednesday showed a suspect waving the orange-coloured bear spray near the entrance before walking out of the frame.

Officers said the suspect stole a display purse worth $1,800 and left. It’s believed they headed east on Dunsmuir Street toward Seymour Street.

Police said the store had to be evacuated because of the bear spray.

“Dozens of people were impacted by the bear spray, which causes intense skin irritation, temporary blindness and respiratory concerns,” wrote Sgt. Steve Addison.

Police described the suspect as a man or woman in their 20s wearing a green sweatshirt and a yellow face mask. They also had a “distinctive” black hat with a white logo.

Anyone with information is asked to call police or Crimestoppers to remain anonymous.

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