ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. -- A shoplifter punched an Elmwood Park security guard several times in the face and knocked down a 58-year-old customer while fleeing, authorities told Daily Voice.
The guard at the Broadway store confronted the bandit just after 10 p.m. Tuesday and was struck with a closed fist, "causing swelling and a contusion on the left side of his face," Police Chief Michael Foligno said Wednesday morning.
The robber then fled towards the exit, knocking down a woman who sustained hip and leg injuries, before running towards Parkview Avenue, he said.
This turned a routine shoplifting into a robbery in which force was used, the chief noted.
Responding officers who got help establishing a perimeter from Fair Lawn and State Police found the robber's shirt, hat and cellphone in the parking lot, Foligno said.
Two Bergen County Sheriff's K-9 units also responded.
The robber was described as black, about 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-10, and wearing a dark shirt and camouflage pants, Foligno said, adding that his detectives were reviewing surveillance video in an attempt to identify the robber.
Anyone with information that could help the investigation is asked to contact Elmwood Park Police at (201) 796-0700 . Callers can remain confidential, Foligno said.