Police are asking for the public's help to put three robbers behind bars.
The men are accused of stealing large amounts of spice, a legal synthetic drug, from a smoke shop in El Mirage.
Surveillance video shows the suspects walking into Smoke Away around 7:45 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27.
The men appear to be customers browsing various cases inside the store.
One of the men engages the female clerk to distract her – while the other two men crawl across the counter and grab handfuls of spice.
"Then the clerk realizes what's happening," said Sgt. Darren Burch, coordinator of Silent Witness. "Out of her peripheral vision she can see these other two suspects basically shoplifting."
Two of the men then rush out the front door.
You can see the third man running after them – followed in hot pursuit by the clerk who tries to stop him.
"That suspect, she actually grabs on to," said Burch. "He then throws her roughly onto the pavement."
Still pictures, captured from the surveillance video, give a better look at the three suspects described as Hispanic men in their mid-20s with cropped hair.
"What's unique or distinctive about one of the suspects is he has a distinctive tattoo on both sides of his neck into his jaw line," said Burch. "It looks like writing or words of some sort."
He tells CBS5 News this would have been a case of shoplifting if one of the suspects hadn't assaulted the clerk outside of the store.
Now, once caught, all three men face robbery charges.
If you have any information that can help police, call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.
You can remain anonymous and will be eligible for a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest or arrests.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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