By Anna Giles

PLACER COUNTY (CBS13)A search is underway in Placer County for three suspects accused of stealing two liquor bottles from a local store and attacking the employee who tried to stop them, authorities say.

The surveillance video paints a chaotic picture, showing an employee going to the extreme to stop the thief from getting away.

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The Placer County Sheriff’s Office said the incident happened around 6:30 p.m. on Monday at Worton’s Market in Foresthill.

Surveillance footage inside the store captured two suspects — one male, one female — in the liquor aisle. The male suspect stuffed two bottles of liquor underneath his shirt and the two exited the store.

Outdoor cameras show that an unnamed employee attempted to stop the male suspect, who then ran across the street to a third suspect — described as a male with albinism, blonde hair and a buzz cut — waiting for them in a vehicle. Deputies said all three suspects began attacking the employee, kicking and punching him in the head.

As the suspects got into the car to drive away, the employee reached through the driver’s side window and put the driver in a headlock, authorities said. The driver began to drive off at around 35 miles per hour while the employee was still holding onto the driver and hanging out of the car.

Deputies said the employee yelled at the driver to slow down, to which they did, and the employee was able to free himself and let go. The employee suffered minor injuries and is said by deputies to be okay.

Paramedics in the store parking lot witnessed the altercation and followed the suspects in an ambulance, but the suspects were able to escape. The ambulance stopped to help the employee after he freed himself.

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‘I was just thinking god…worried about the people nearby the store, the employees, how scary that is because they go over there in the dark,” said Lanette Starkey, a shopper.

Some shoppers think the employee went too far and put himself in unnecessary danger.

“He had two bottles of liquor, it’s not worth getting dragged all the way down the street for,” said Tom Williams.

Jeff, a small business owner who didn’t want to give his last name, thinks differently.

“Good on them. Nobody should steal anything from anybody,” he said.

But most agree this is not the type of incident a close-knit community is used to seeing.

“Nothing like that ever happens around here. it’s super quiet. Everybody knows each other,” Williams said.

The sheriff’s office is asking the public for any information that could lead them to the whereabouts of the suspects. The suspect vehicle is described as a white or silver four-door sedan.

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Anyone with information relevant to the incident is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at 530-889-7830.