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Gelson's employee reportedly tussles with pair of attempted robbery suspects over alcohol

What began as an attempt to shoplift alcohol from Gelson's on Foothill Boulevard turned into a strong-arm robbery March 8, when two suspects struggled with a store employee over the lifted goods, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

The Gelson's employee notified deputies that around 7:30 p.m. that night, two adult males entered the store and went to the alcohol section, said Lt. Chad Sauter, a watch commander for the Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station.

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"It was hard alcohol they were trying to steal," Sauter said.

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An employee who'd seen the two men — both were described as being in their early to mid 30s — followed them out into the parking lot and confronted them about the theft, Sauter said.

There was a brief physical struggle over the pilfered alcohol, which the suspects eventually left behind before fleeing. The men got into a white four-door sedan, possibly a Toyota Corolla and exited the property, according to Sauter.

"They left the alcohol behind and took off in their car," he said. "Since they did struggle over the alcohol, [the crime] becomes strong-arm robbery and not shoplifting."

Neither of the suspects were seen in possession of any weapons. While the two men were not located following the incident, the details reported by the employee were recorded, in the event that information might be linked to other similar crimes in the area, Sauter said.

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Sara Cardine, sara.cardine@latimes.com

Twitter: @SaraCardine

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