Police searching for 60-year-old woman as suspect in Enchanted Rose Garden robbery in Penfield


PENFIELD, N.Y. (WROC) — Officials from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office are looking for a robbery suspect in connection to a weekend incident in Penfield.

Police say deputies responded to the Enchanted Rose Garden, located at 1850 Penfield Road, at 3:53 p.m. Saturday for the report of a robbery.

Police say a woman, approximately 60 years old wearing an all blue shirt, black pants, and a black mask, threatened an employee with what appeared to be pepper spray.

They say the woman stole property from the business and the assistant manager and left.

Surveillance footage from the store shows the woman walking in and assistant manager Michelle McElduff greeting her. McElduff said she saw the woman in the store a few weeks ago.

McElduff said when the woman told her she wanted the money from the register, she laughed at first. But she said she noticed pepper spray, a lighter, and a bottle in the woman’s hand and the woman repeated her request.

“She very seriously and quietly and calm looked at me and said, ‘I want your money.’ I’m like, okay, so I emptied the drawer and handed it to her,” McElduff said.

She said the woman also asked for her keys, purse, and phone.

After the encounter at the register, the surveillance footage shows the woman continued shopping and filling her bag with merchandise.

“It was very scary and just her whole demeanor was creepy, she was too calm for me. She was comfortable in what she was doing and it was uneasy.”

Eventually, she left and McElduff called 911.

She said a bag was found a few blocks away from the store filled with some of the stolen merchandise, McElduff’s phone and keys, and the lighter and bottle the woman was carrying in the store.

McElduff said police returned the items to the store including the lighter and bottle, at first thinking both were also merchandise. They discovered the bottle was filled with lighter fluid.

“To know that she could do that or think about doing that is really, I need to restore my faith in humanity because that really knocked me down a few pegs really just a horrible thing,” McElduff said. “What could’ve happened had she used the stuff that she brought on me, that part’s really kind of scary and traumatic.”

Sergeant CJ Zimmerman with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said they’re asking for the public’s help to identify the woman.

He said the suspect was last seen driving a blue four-door sedan westbound on Penfield Road.

“Unfortunately robberies happen, and they are very concerning because its not just shoplifting,” said Sergeant CJ Zimmerman with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. “It is stepping it up to actually threatening somebody, and any time threats are made, it’s unknown what could possibly happen.”

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 911 or the sheriff’s office tip line 753-4175.

Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.

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