VANCOUVER -- After bear spray was allegedly used against an employee at a downtown Vancouver store, local police are hoping to identify the suspect.

Police said in a news release Friday that a man went into the London Drugs pharmacy on Granville and West Georgia streets at about 3 p.m. on Tuesday. He took three bottles of vitamins and store security confronted him after they saw him put the bottles into his backpack. 

"The suspect used bear mace against the store employee," said Const. Tania Visintin, in a news release. 

"The spray was applied directly to the victim's face."

Police say the suspect is white and between 40 and 50 years old. He's about 5'5" and has an average build.

The man was wearing a black hooded sweater with a black jacket on top, blue jeans and a baseball cap with a yellow brim. The backpack he was carrying was black and the man was wearing a blue medical mask.

"Officers arrived on scene within minutes of the call coming in but were unsuccessful in locating the suspect," Visintin said.

Anyone with information or who recognizes the suspect is asked to call Vancouver police at 604-717-4021.