Riverside police are seeking the public’s help to identify two people who allegedly shoplifted items from a pet store — then returned hours later to toss hot coffee on employees in an apparent act of vengeance over being called out for the theft.

Riverside Police Department Det. Brian Money on Tuesday released surveillance video of the confrontation at Elliot’s For Pets, posting it on the department’s social media channels in the hope someone might recognize the suspects.

According to Money, the young man and woman went to the shop in the 6700 block of Brockton Avenue on the afternoon of Dec. 14 and allegedly snatched several items before walking out.

The shop owner followed the pair into the parking lot and demanded his property back, at which point the suspects surrendered one item but then turned hostile before getting into a late-model black Volkswagen Golf hatchback and leaving, the video showed.

Roughly two hours later, the pair returned to the location in the same vehicle, and the man ran into the store with a large cup of hot coffee, which he proceeded to throw onto employees behind the checkout counter, none of whom were scalded, according to Money.

The man then ran out and jumped back into the driver’s seat of the Volkswagen, speeding away.

According to the video images, he was Black, in his early 20s, thinly built, with bushy hair, wearing string-colored slacks and a black jacket. The woman was Hispanic, also in her early 20s, heavy set, with dark neck-length hair, wearing black pants and a black jacket.

Additional details are available at www.Facebook.com/RiversidePD.

Anyone with information was asked to contact Money at 951-353-7118.

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