A Somerset County convenience store clerk armed herself with a can of bug spray over the weekend after a being approached by an attempted robber.
What began as a typical Sunday night shift at CSI Coalfield Mini Market in Berlin became anything but for Annabelle Miller after a woman, wearing a mask, came through the front door.
“That’s a heads up anyway. Then she throws this black bag on the counter and tells me, ‘Put the money in the bag,’ and I’m like, ‘What?’ So she says it again and I’m like, ‘Excuse me?'” Miller said.
Without thinking twice, Miller armed herself with the closest thing in her reach: a can of Raid bee and wasp killer. Then she waited, giving the woman a chance to leave. When she did, a surveillance camera captures Miller spraying the woman in the face with the bug spray.
“She just stood there and then started walking out the door and I kept spraying her as she was walking,” Miller said.
Authorities argue what Miller did may not have been the best move. They said it’s never smart to confront someone who could be armed. But Miller said that’s the exact reason why she did what she did.
“When she pulled her hands back towards herself, I didn’t know if she had anything on her and I wasn’t letting her get to it first,” Miller said. “I just got mad. I’ve got better thing to do with my night than that.”
The store itself has been in Berlin under the current ownership for a little more than a decade. It’s the only store in the area that’s open around the clock as a convenience for the community. And Miller said she doesn’t want what happened Sunday night to change that.
“We don’t have problems here at night during the night, I mean, we have the occasional drunks, but no one’s ever been out of line,” she said. “I like it. I like working (late shift.) I don’t think (that woman’s) coming back.”
Miller described the woman as a having a deep voice, long brown hair and thick eyebrows. She said she wouldn’t be surprised if the woman also has some burns on her face.
Anyone who may recognize the woman or have information on the incident is asked to call state police in Somerset at 814-445-4104.