Deputies raid Arizona Mills store, arrest 3 employees for ID theft

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TEMPE - The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office raided Arizona Mills Mall in Tempe where they arrested several store employees.

Mall management says they are not happy about this kind of publicity so they kicked a 3TV crew off site.

A former manager of the Burlington Coat Factory allegedly tipped Sheriff Joe Arpaio off that illegal immigrants were working at the store.

At sundown on Thursday MCSO deputies swarmed the giant store separating shoppers from employees.

Rosie, an employee, tells 3TV, “They show me the gun and tell me I have to walk to the freakin’ break room."

Deputies checked identification cards searching for fake or stolen identities. Three employees were led out the back door of the store in handcuffs.

Their boss turned their names over to the sheriff in January and investigators spent the last few months preparing for the raid.

“We have an inside source," Arpaio said. "No racial profiling going on here. We're acting on info we got."

Nevertheless, store employees see it differently. One says, “They only checking our color. That’s it. Only arrest three Mexicans.”

Sheriff Arpaio says the store remained open and his deputies tried not to disrupt business. He also says the timing of the raid had nothing to do with the governor's high-profile meeting with President Barack Obama. “This is payday…better chance of apprehending suspects."

Three Burlington Coat Factory employees were arrested in this raid.

"Now the search for the other seven suspects will continue," Arpaio said.