Candle thief sprays dozens of people with bear mace at Miami International Mall, cop says


On Saturday afternoon, a Bath & Body Works candle robbery involving Bear Mace injured dozens of Miami International Mall patrons. Fire Rescue is working swiftly to help people affected by strong odor repellents.

“This is the only story in Miami,” said Ray Valdes, a spokesman for Doral police. “I can’t make up for this.”

Around 4 pm, he said, a stranger set foot in Bath & Body Works, a mall armed with a can of bear spray.

Valdes said in a video that he sprayed a stolen candle bag in one hand and a bear spray in one hand, targeting customers shopping on the weekends.

According to Valdes, about 35 people, including about 15 staff in the store, other customers, and shoppers in the mall outside the store, caught the scent of repellents.

She was hit directly by the spray, so the store manager had to take her to the emergency room. According to Valdes, her injury is not life-threatening, but serious. She had breathing problems.

Symptoms that a person may experience after being maced are inflammation of the eyes and nasal passages, in addition to dyspnea.

After dosing the store, he escaped with a bag of stolen candles. He jumped into a yellow taxi and escaped from the scene.

His identity is unknown, but police say he is a short-trimmed, black-haired heavy-set man in a black shirt and blue jeans shorts.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said some people had to be transferred to a local hospital, but some couldn’t say.

According to Valdes, some of the malls in the immediate vicinity of Bath & Body Works were evacuated after making because repellents could get into the AC system and affect more people. It is unknown if some of the malls are still closed.

When the man was arrested, Valdes said he could face up to 35 felony charges. This includes several armed robbers per staff hit with mace and several deteriorated batteries of customers injured by “chemicals”.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

Posted on