Maplewood police search for 2 suspects involved in shoplifting incident, assault at Burlington Coat Factory

Alex Jokich
Updated: September 22, 2020 06:05 PM
Created: September 22, 2020 05:39 PM

The Maplewood Police Department is searching for two suspects accused of assaulting a Burlington Coat Factory employee during a shoplifting incident.

The victim's mother spoke with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS Tuesday, saying her daughter was hospitalized for three days with a punctured lung following the attack.


"I don't know why people would want to hurt somebody who is so innocent and beautiful," said Heidi, the victim's mother, who did not want their last name used.

Heidi said the incident happened on Sept. 3 at the store off of Beam Avenue.

She said a man and woman were captured on surveillance video entering the front of the store.

"They stole a bunch of clothes. They had suitcases packed with stuff," Heidi said. "And then they ran out the back door to steal what they could."

Heidi said her 21-year-old daughter, who is a manager at the store, heard the alarms going off and walked outside to see what was happening.

"The lady grabbed her by the back of the hair, threw her down to the ground and started kicking her," Heidi said. "The girl kept kicking her. The guy came around the corner and then he pitched in and started kicking her as well. She thought she was going to die and she wishes she never went out that door."

She said the vicious beating continued until another employee heard her calls for help over the store's walkie-talkie system and came to her daughter's rescue, chasing off the suspects.

"They just do what they do because they think it's funny. They left her on the ground and they laughed and ran away," Heidi said.

Heidi said her daughter is still recovering from the physical and emotional trauma of the random attack.

"Her spark is not there. They took that away from her and it's not right," Heidi said. "I wish I could reverse time. I just want her back."

The family hopes someone will recognize the suspects and report their identities to police.

"I want them caught. I can't rest until they're caught," Heidi said. " They're very dangerous. They need to be caught and stopped. They need to be put away. I don't want just a slap on the wrist. They have to be put away.”

If you recognize the suspects or have any information that could help in this investigation, you are asked to call Detective Marino at Maplewood Police Department at 651-249-2624.

More photos and the case number can be found at the link here

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