By Marty Griffin

MONROEVILLE (KDKA) – A store clerk was beaten and kicked while trying to stop a shoplifter at Monroeville Mall.

The assault happened in broad daylight inside the mall with people standing around.

A young girl screams for help as she is beaten and kicked by the shoplifter who then walks away.

According to police, the young, blond-haired girl is a 17-year-old employee of a Hollister store inside the mall.

Police say the African-American woman had just taken clothing from the store, setting off an alarm when she walked out.

The employee was beaten trying to recover the stolen property.

An eyewitness recorded the beating on a cell phone. He talked to the victim, telling her to let the thief walk away next time.

“You got to let them go,” he said. “Girl, you can’t fight over that garbage. They ain’t paying you that much.”

Kim Bowland, of Plum, was shocked by the video.

“It’s very scary – it’s despicable,” she said. “I mean, can’t believe something like that can go on and everybody’s standing there watching it.”

At least three men were witnesses to the crime. No one tried to stop the suspect.

The owners of the store called police and reported a theft and an assault.

With the cell phone video, Monroeville police will pursue aggravated assault charges against the suspect.

“They should have security,” Crystal Price, of Monroeville, said. “It shouldn’t be the responsibility of the young workers to chase down people who are stealing.”

A spokesperson for the mall says their No. 1 priority is customer and employee security.

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