Two female thugs battered a Holland & Barrett shop worker who suspected them of stealing.
The employee was left with head injuries after the suspected shoplifters repeatedly punched her and smashed a door.
Shocking footage shows members of the public fighting their way into the shop in Croydon, south London, in a desperate bid to help the worker.
The dramatic video clip shows the door suddenly giving way and the alleged shoplifters making a break for it.
The video was posted to social media and captioned: "I witnessed this today in Croydon, these kids are just running wild.
“I’d be gutted if my mum came home from work saying this happened to her.”
The video shows the shop’s entrance being kicked through from the inside.
The suspected thieves can be seen repeatedly kicking the door and trying to move the shop worker out of the way before attacking her.
The video has been watched more than 200,000 views hundreds of comments.
One of the women alleged to be involved with the incident replied on social media, claiming she told to leave the store for “cussing” and then held against her will.
She said: “She [the worker] stamped on my foot. When she stamped on my foot, I headbutted her then obviously that’s started a fight.
“You can only see what we did, but that’s not the whole situation, they kept me hostage for no reason.
“She caused it on herself, hence why her staff weren’t helping her. They were telling her to open up the doors because we weren’t in the wrong.”
A Holland and Barrett spokeswoman said: “We were extremely saddened to learn of this incident, and will be working with the authorities, alongside our HR department, to ensure our employee wellbeing continues to be protected, and this colleague is provided with the support they need at this time.
“As a responsible employer, the safety of our colleagues is a primary concern, which is why we put in steps to protect our staff, such as minimising lone working, and increasing security in stores.”
A Metropolitan Police statement said: “Police were called at 4.52pm on Tuesday to reports of an assault at a shop in North End, Croydon. Officers and London Ambulance Service attended.
"At the scene, a female member of staff at a commercial premises, aged in her 40s, had been assaulted and was suffering from a head injury. The injured woman was taken to a south London hospital where her condition is not life threatening.
"Police believe that the member of staff challenged two female shoplifters who responded by assaulting the victim by repeatedly punching her in the head. They also smashed glass at the front of the premises before leaving in the direction of west Croydon.
"The suspects are both black females aged 16-20yrs, one of whom is described as Albino. No arrests have been made.
"Anyone with information that could assist the investigation is asked to contact Croydon police on 101."
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