ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ) — Police in Howard County arrested a woman who allegedly ripped a cash register out of a store along Main Street in Ellicott City.

The incident happened Sunday at Primitive Beginnings when one worker briefly went next door to a sister store.

Owner Maria Martinez said it all played out right next to a police substation.

“The police immediately responded,” Martinez said. “In a matter of nanoseconds.”

Martinez said that police located the suspect in the woods.

“There was actually a trail of pennies,” she said. “We were missing 47 pennies.”

All of the cash was still in the register, according to Martinez.

On a street that’s been drawn together through adversity, the news quickly made the rounds.

Pam Long is a photographer who works down the block. She showed up to a monthly business owner’s meeting Tuesday where the theft and police response were top topics of discussion.

“This will send a message out to the community, you don’t mess with Ellicott City,” Long said. “Within 20 minutes, the person was apprehended and arrested.”

Old Ellicott City is rebuilding after two devastating and deadly floods in a matter of two years.

As store owners spruce up for holiday shoppers, they are also being more vigilant.

“We all talked about it and see what we could have done differently,” Theresa Graham, of Flower Barn, said. “But it’s just something that happens.”

Police said the suspect who took the register is a 22-year-old from Severna Park. She’s been charged with theft and destruction of property.

Ava-joye Burnett

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