Accused shoplifter arrested after using pepper spray on JC Penney worker

06/04/2014 9:50 AM

06/04/2014 4:13 PM

A Rock Hill woman wanted in an alleged strong arm robbery at JC Penney last month was arrested over the weekend, accused of stealing a bag of clothes from the store and pepper spraying a loss prevention employee who tried to stop her, police say.

On May 16, a loss prevention officer at the Rock Hill Galleria store told police that she and another employee witnessed a woman placing clothes into a plastic bag, according to a Rock Hill police report. The woman wore blue jeans and had braids in her hair. As the loss prevention officer went to confront the woman, the suspect dropped the bag to the ground. The woman told the employee the bag belonged to her.

The employee told the woman she would need to provide a receipt for the clothes, prompting the suspect to try and take the bag away from the employee, the report states. The suspect attacked the employee with pepper spray and grabbed the bag of clothes, running out of the store. A shopper told police he saw the woman jump into a Volkswagen Jetta and leave the mall. EMS treated the employee, while police learned the car was registered to Taneshia Campbell, who told officers she only knew the suspect as “Fruna.”

Police identified the suspect as Demetria Jade Barber, 19, and issued warrants for her arrest charging her with strong arm robbery. On Monday, Barber turned herself in to police. She was later released from jail on a $20,000 bond. Efforts to reach Barber were immediately unsuccessful Wednesday.

Campbell was also arrested and charged with accessory after the fact to a felony.

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