Bloomington police: suspect steals multiple machetes, pepper spray cans and knives from store

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Police in Bloomington need help identifying a person who they said stole multiple machetes, knives and cans of pepper spray from Hoosier Workwear Outlet on the Fourth of July.

Investigators believe the suspect took about $1,400 in merchandise.

The owner of the store, John Ratliff, believes the thief used a rock to get inside because it was closed for the holiday. One of the front windows is now boarded up.

Ratliff said it happened early in the morning. He was thankful none of his employees were working at the time.

“It could always have been a lot worse,” he said.

Ratliff has been the owner of Hoosier Workwear Outlet since 1994. He sells everything from hats to knives.

There are several security cameras pointing at every angle but it only caught the suspect for a brief second before the person turned the cameras around.

“He may have been in the store 15 minutes, pretty much in and out,” Ratliff said.

He said it is not the first time this has happened here. Ratliff claimed some teens have broken in before to steal knives as well.

“We have done everything from cameras to alarm systems,” he said. “Unfortunately, none of it seems to do a whole lot of good.”

He does plan to beef up security by adding more cameras.

If you can help identify this suspect or have any information about this crime, please contact Officer Raymond Bazan at or call (812) 339-4477.

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