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Four Charged In Pepper Spray Attack At Cell Phone Store

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Chicago police detectives are trying to determine if four people charged with the robbery Monday of a cell phone store in the north side Edgewater neighborhood are responsible for any similar stickups.

Nothing seemed amiss at first when two women walked into the Bestcom Wireless store at 6147 N. Broadway at about 5 p.m. Monday and began discussing the pros and cons of various cell phones and phone packages with the store’s manager. But police said that suddenly, one of the women pulled out pepper spray and used it on the manager.

The women grabbed four phones valued at $1,800 and ran from the store, with the manager in hot pursuit.

CBS 2’s Brad Edwards spoke with the store clerk who is left with a burning reminder.

“It was a burning, burning day for me,” said Amir Kishta, the cell phone store manager.

Kishta says police told them the pepper spray the attackers used was ten times stronger than police pepper spray.

“Rather have gotten shot then go through that pain.”

The women jumped into a van that sped off, but the manager was able to copy down the license number despite the pain caused by the pepper spray. Police stopped the van 45 minutes later and about a mile and a half away, retrieving the phones and arresting the four suspects.

The alleged thieves, Ellen Phillips and Alleysia Ariel, are charged with armed robbery, as are those who were in the getaway van, Deandre Loveless and Kyle Samuels.

The Kishta was able to identify the four in lineups, and provided police with surveillance video showing the holdup. He refused medical treatment.

“It was a game they were playing on me,” said Kishta.

Kishta says he won the game, “after seeing their faces in the police station.

The victim says police told him the quartet were wanted for a string of other like crimes, but police would not confirm that.