Man arrested after attempting to steal money from Girl Scouts tr

Man arrested after attempting to steal money from Girl Scouts troop

Posted: Updated:
James Ernest Wright (Charles County Sheriff's Office) James Ernest Wright (Charles County Sheriff's Office)
WALDORF, Md. -

Would-be thieves targeted a Girl Scouts cookie booth in Waldorf, Md. on Sunday. On Tuesday, one man is facing charges and police are looking for a woman connected to the case.

The seven girls from Troop 5819 in Prince George's County were getting very close to a major goal. It looked like they were about to sell enough cookies to qualify for a trip to Disney World, but the attempted robbery squashed their last day of booth sales.

Temple Hills Troop Leader Shelli Harris was there with her 10-year-old daughter, Alliyah, when it happened. They were manning a cookie booth outside of Five Guys along Plaza Way in Waldorf when a man and woman, who both appeared intoxicated, walked up and attempted to rob them.

Harris says the woman smashed several boxes of cookies off of the table and the man went for the donation box. Harris says she told him to back away, but she says, "He lunged for my daughter ... I grabbed her and I threw her behind me and I grabbed the money envelope and I tried to stick it in my sweat jacket ... He just kept coming. He took both his hands, almost went to push me, but he almost tripped into me too. It was a forceful push."

The suspects ran off empty handed when a customer walked out of Five Guys and yelled. Harris' husband, Ben Mason, an off-duty federal police officer, was monitoring another cookie stand across the street. He pulled up in his car moments later and was able to catch up with the man.

48-year-old James Ernest Wright was arrested and charged with attempted robbery, theft and disorderly conduct. Police are still looking for the woman who was with him.

The troop was shaken up and unable to continue cookie sales. Harris estimates they are a couple thousand dollars shy of winning a trip to Disney World. They have until Friday to sell cookies, but Sunday was the last eligible day for booth sales.

To contact the troop and purchase cookies or donate, send an email to Pinkpassion4u@verizon.net.

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