(Surveillance image: Montgomery County Police Department)
GERMANTOWN, Md. - A Montgomery County grocery store employee was assaulted on the job by two people trying to steal baby formula, according to police.
It happened on Aug. 11 at around 9:05 p.m. at the Shoppers grocery store in Germantown.
Police said the suspects are two women – one of them was wearing a bright blonde wig. They also had at least one child with them as surveillance video of the incident shows them attacking the worker when she would not hand over the baby formula.
“The suspect who approached the clerk was demanding the baby formula and the clerk was saying – I can’t just give it to you. We have store procedures that we have to follow,” said Montgomery County Police Officer Rick Goodale. “And the suspect was becoming more and more demanding. At which point, when she wasn't satisfied with the clerk not handing it over the formula, she decided to come behind the counter herself.”
The surveillance video shows one of the suspects trying to take a can of baby formula from the store clerk’s hands before a scuffle starts behind the counter. Seconds later, police said the other woman in the blonde wig pushing a stroller and with a toddler in tow joined in on the fight as other employees rushed over to help their co-worker. It all ended with the two women walking out with the stroller and child.
Montgomery County police said the suspects did not end up getting away with anything from the store, but the employee was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and is expected to be okay.
However, police said this is not the first time baby formula thefts have happened at the store.
“Apparently, Shoppers had a rash of baby formula thefts and they decided to keep that formula behind a locked counter,” said Goodale. “It is a valuable commodity. It could be turned around and sold on the street for a high dollar amount. So it is something that people may want to steal and turn around and resell.
“Here in Montgomery County, we offer so many services that if mothers are in need of formula, food, diapers, anything – all they have to do is call the appropriate agencies and Montgomery County will try to accommodate them and give them whatever services they need. If somebody needs baby formula to feed their kids, they don't have to resort to this.”
Earlier this month, Montgomery County police arrested a man after they said he was behind a string of baby formula thefts totaling around $12,000.
If you have any information about this attempted robbery, you are asked to call police at 240-773-5070. Anonymous tips can be left at Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $10,000 for information that leads to an arrest and/or an indictment for this crime.