A Garfield woman is facing a slew of charges including armed robbery after police say she tried to make off with stolen liquor and attempted to mace a security guard who confronted her.
Mona Branch, 43, of Garfield, entered the Food Basics store on Lincoln Avenue on Wednesday and allegedly grabbed two liquor bottles off the shelf and placed them in her backpack.
According to Cpt. Jonathan Miller, Branch was spotted by a store manager and security guard attempting to leave without paying when the confrontation began.
The security guard, according to Miller, was attempting to detain her while Branch reached into the backpack, pulled out a can of pepper spray and made an attempt to spray him. Police say the attempt was unsuccessful and while gaining control of the accused, an alleged male accomplice approached the guard, who backed down. Branch dropped the backpack and fled with the unidentified male, Miller said.
Police say identifying information and the liquor bottles were found in the backpack, leading them to Branch's Garfield address.
"It shows how desperate people are to get what they want," Miller said of the incident.
Branch turned herself in to Glen Rock Police headquarters on Thursday after urging from friends and family, police said.
Due to the alleged threat and attempt at violence, the consequences morphed from what could have been a simple shoplifting charge to charges of armed robbery, criminal possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon with the purpose to use it unlawfully, and shoplifting.
The accomplice could also face charges if apprehended, Miller said. Branch was remanded to Bergen County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bail.
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