Faribault Police Chief Andy Bohlen reports about 8:17 p.m. Tuesday officers were dispatched to a reported robbery in progress at JoAnn Fabrics, in the Faribo West Mall.  When officers arrived the suspect had fled.  Two employees were on duty and told officers the suspect entered the store a few minutes earlier and stated he was waiting for a ride.

The suspect approached one employee asking to buy some merchandise.  When the employee approached the cash register, the suspect approached her from behind, poked her in the back with an object and told her to open the register.  The employee stated she could not, and the suspect instructed her to scan merchandise and open the register.

The suspect then hit the employee in the back two to three times and fled the store.  The clerk described the weapon as "a baton."  The employee suffered bruising from the assault , but did not require medical attention.  No money or merchandise was taken.

In a news release from the Faribault Police Department it states, "At the same time, a second employee heard the screaming, ran to the back of the store and called police."

The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 6 feet tall, wearing a black, puffy coat, black beanie hat, black sweatpants, black shoes, gloves and a gray scarf over his face.  No vehicle description was give to Faribault police.

Chief Bohlen says detectives are working with Steele County investigators who are investigating a robbery at Medford Outlet Center by a suspect matching the description of the JoAnn Fabric attempted robbery.

Chief Andy Bohlen commented, "Our detectives are working diligently to identify this person.  We are grateful for the quick action of the employee to call police.  Our thoughts are with the employees as they recover from this traumatic encounter."

Bohlen says they are working to get surveillance footage.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Sergeant Matt Long at 507-334-0952.

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