Tampa, Florida -- A hammer is a blunt and crude weapon -- and one led to frightening moments outside WestShore Plaza in Tampa.
Security cameras captured a female suspect stealing several high-end purses from Macy's. A security officer detained her as she left. As they waited for Tampa police outside, a car sped into the parking lot just feet from where the security officer was standing with the suspect. A man jumped out, and Tampa Police describe what happened next.
"A guy jumps out and pops the trunk, grabs a hammer, and charges the security guard, making a threatening statement saying, 'Don't try me,'" said Tampa Police Department spokeswoman Laura McElroy.
The frightening part of this story is the suspect's choice of weapon, a hammer. One swing and a connect could crack someone's skull wide open.
"A hammer can be a deadly weapon, and the security guard in this case did the exact right thing and backed away," said McElroy.
The threat created enough time for the female suspect to jump into the car. The male suspect ripped off the license plate, jumped in, and took off.
Jamoni Jones is a security officer in Downtown Tampa. He said attacks with blunt objects aren't uncommon. Being prepared for that is part of his training. So we asked what he would do.
"In a situation like that, when I saw that car pull up, I'd immediately back up and take that person that was detained. I would take that individual and step back to give myself a little bit more time. Every second counts," said Jones.
Mall officials released a statement saying although they don't discuss security procedures "the safety of our shoppers is WestShore Plaza's first priority."
Now, cops are asking for the public's help in identifying the female suspect and the driver of the dark blue Nissan getaway car.