Police: Candle thief used bear mace on mall patrons

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Bath & Body Works store (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

MIAMI (AP) — A man stole candles from a mall store and sprayed dozens of patrons with bear mace repellent before escaping, police said.

Investigators say the theft happened Saturday afternoon at a Bath and Body Works store in a mall in the Doral suburb west of Miami.

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The unidentified suspect entered the store, filled a bag with candles and then started spraying people with mace. About 35 people were affected, with some taken to a hospital for treatment.

A portion of the mall was evacuated Saturday.

Police say the suspect could face numerous armed robbery and aggravated battery charges once arrested.

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