Police say Dionte Smith, of Chicago, robbed three Boost Mobile stores on the city's Southwest Side.
Surveillance video captured the most recent robbery, which occurred on April 2 in the 6600-block of South Cicero Avenue. Store clerk Yessica Valencia was the only one at the Cicero Avenue store when the robbery happened.
"He walked in as if he were a regular customer," Valencia said. "He told me he wanted to buy two phones and told me what else he wanted. Once I took down his information, I was going to charge him. I picked up the first phone, he came behind the computer, took out the bottle and sprayed my face with mace."
Valencia was momentarily blinded by the spray but not seriously injured. Police believe they also have a photo of the getaway vehicle, and that it was being driven by a second man.
"I couldn't see anything," Valencia said. "He grabbed the phone that was in my hand and then he went under the counter and grabbed the other one too."
In a community alert issued Sunday, police said the second robbery took place about eight hours after the first in the 6400-block of South Pulaski. In this case, employees said two offenders took went into the store.
"They were acting silly," said clerk Erika Guerrero. "My coworker was showing them some cases and out of nowhere one of the guys just walked in here ... they pepper-sprayed her, they took the money and they ran out."
Investigators say Smith was arrested after being identified by both victims and fingerprints.