Man stealing shirt sparks chaos inside Sawgrass Mills, authorities say

By Sanela Sabovic - Reporter

SUNRISE, Fla. - A man stealing a T-shirt from a department store sparked chaos Sunday that led authorities to evacuate the Sawgrass Mills outlet mall, police said.

Shoppers were seen running for the exits Sunday afternoon after rumors began swirling that someone was armed with either a gun or a knife inside the mall.

"There was like a mob of people. Everybody ran out," one shopper said.

"Honestly, it was terrifying. I've never experienced that in my life," another person said. 

The mall was evacuated by Sunrise police.

"I was trying to keep my kids calmed down first and telling them, 'Calm down. We don’t run with the masses. Let's see what's happening,'" shopper Victoria Correa said. 

Police later confirmed no shots were ever fired and no weapon was involved.

According to authorities, loss prevention employees from the department store followed the man who stole the T-shirt out of the store and tackled him near some garbage cans.

But police said the thief got away before officers arrived.

The mall was later given the all-clear.

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