A mother-daughter team with a penchant for the Burlington store on Lima Road was charged with robbery after using a hand-held stun gun on the floor manager and fleeing with a pile of baby clothes.
Artclethea Hardy, 47, of the 3300 block of South Harrison Street, and Jermonea Hardy, 19, of the same address, were both charged Tuesday with robbery resulting in bodily injury. Jermonea was additionally charged with neglect of a dependent, court documents said.
The two women entered the store about 6 p.m. Friday with Jermonea carrying her daughter. An employee alerted the floor manager that the two were back at the store after they had tried to steal multiple leather coats Nov. 5.
The floor manager found the two in the baby clothes area and saw Artclethea grab a large stack of baby clothes in an attempt to steal them and told them to leave the store, court documents said.
That was when Artclethea pulled out an object that looked like a cellphone and zapped the left of side of the floor manager's neck with it.
The stun gun left a 3-inch-diameter swollen red mark with two prong marks on the floor manager's neck. The mark continued to swell, court documents said.
After the zapping, the two walked out of the store with 24 sets of baby clothes valued at $411, court documents said.
Detective Chris Crapser issued an alert that the women had fled in what was thought to be an older-model burgundy Dodge minivan. They were spotted sitting in a Buffalo Wings & Ribs restaurant with Jermonea's daughter.
They were taken to police headquarters for questioning.
Artclethea said she had been approached that evening by an employee she'd never met before and was accused of stealing. She said she left and did not touch the employee or take anything from the store.
Jermonea said she had a gift card for Burlington's and was planning on buying some items for her daughter. She said she and her mother were approached by the floor manager and told to leave, so she left her shopping cart and Artclethea took out her stun gun and “tased” the manager on the neck. Jermonea didn't know what had happened to the stun gun, court records said.
As the detective walked past Artclethea's purse, he saw the fake cellphone with probes sitting in open view. Artclethea told him that it was her “taser” that she had purchased on Amazon for $30.
A search of the minivan turned up a large stack of brand-new Carter's-brand baby clothes from Burlington, court records said.
Artclethea is at Allen County Jail held in lieu of $10,000 bail. Jermonea was released Tuesday on her own recognizance.
Both women have court hearings Friday.