The Wayne Police Department is currently investigating a recent robbery that occurred at a local grocery store. Although officials have identified a suspect in the case, a man from Paterson, New Jersey, he remains at large.
61-year-old Robert Lee Harrison, of Belmont Avenue in Paterson, is wanted by authorities in connection with the aforementioned incident, which occurred at a ShopRite located on Hamburg Turnpike in Wayne on Sunday, March 23rd.
According to store employees, Harrison was attempting to rob the store’s meat department of merchandise valued at approximately $174 dollars. They told police that they tried to make him stop, at which time he claimed to have AIDS, displayed a syringe, and threatened to stab them with it.
Employees were able to identify Harrison, as he had committed another theft offense in their store on March 18th, verified by police records. As such, the Wayne Police issued a warrant for his arrest the following afternoon.
James Clarke, the Deputy Chief of the Wayne Police Department, stated that Harrison will face charges for terroristic threats, as well as robbery, in connection with this incident, if and when he is taken into custody. In addition, Harris is suspected to have committed another theft crime involving beef and seafood products at a different store located in Fair Lawn.
With regard to the charges associated with the alleged events of March 23rd, charges for robbery are considered extremely serious in New Jersey. According to N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1, which governs these types of offenses, robbery can be considered a first or second degree crime. Those convicted of first degree crimes are subject to a term of imprisonment of 10 to 20 years, while second degree offenses are punishable by a sentence ranging from 5 to 10 years.
Further, robbery charges in either degree are among the crimes enumerated in the No Early Release Act (“NERA”), which requires defendants to serve 85% of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for parole.
As police continue to search for Harris, his bail has been set at $2,500 without a 10 percent option.
For more information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Cops searching for Paterson man who allegedly claimed he had AIDS, threatened supermarket employees with infected syringe