CROWN HEIGHTS, Brooklyn (WABC) --Storming a Family Dollar store in Crown Heights, eight men pulled off a daring snatch-and-grab robbery, while eventually putting a clerk's life in danger as he is pummeled with shopping baskets.
The entire robbery was caught on security camera aimed at the front door. The first man, dressed in red, comes in around 8:30 Saturday night. At least seven others then crowd in as a store employee in the red shirt tried to keep them from entering - he is overpowered.
"To actually steal from Family Dollar, I wouldn't think people would come here and steal stuff. But to be brazen, eight against one, that's kind of sad," said shopper Vanessa Whyte.
A group of the robbers carried large boxes and ran from the store as two clerks tried to stop them. They were stealing a popular wireless speaker tower, priced at $40.
"This is a dollar store. No more than two or three dollars. Why would you steal from here?" said James Bowens.
Then a group of the men came back, and started to rough up the clerk again, this time picking up plastic shopping baskets, and hurling them at him, one clearly hitting him in the head.
Sharon Jones couldn't believe it.
"And they came back again? They started throwing baskets at him - oh my goodness, that's horrible!" Jones said.
The NYPD wants people to see still pictures of the men, in hopes you might recognize one or all of them.
"We were trained to just let them have it, just let them have it. It can be replaced, but your life can't be. That's the best I can give you," Jones added.
The employee, who was not seriously injured, returned to work. His manager says they cannot speak to Eyewitness News on camera.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).
The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at http://WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.