By Michele Chadwick
MODESTO, CA – On April 25, 2022, while intoxicated, Alma Garcia entered a Home Depot and allegedly threatened an employee with a pair of wire cutters—she was convicted by a jury of robbery here in Stanislaus County Superior Court last week.
Court testimony determined Garcia entered the store and asked a sales associate for help locating an item. Garcia then went to the power tool section with the intention to steal one. However, the power tools were held in place by anti-theft cables.
Garcia left the aisle and found a pair of wire cutters to cut the anti-theft cables off of the item.
One of the alarms on the power tools began to go off and an employee approached the accused, and informed Garcia that she can’t do that.
To that Garcia, according to testimony, replied, “Yes, I can.” She then turned around and thrust the wire cutters upwards toward the employee, said the employee, saying she took this as a threat and backed up with her hands raised.
The employee testified that she was scared and in fear at this moment. The prosecution argued that Garcia intended to use this “force and fear to take that property out of the store.”
Garcia’s attorney argued the employee was not afraid because she confronted Garcia and followed her around and outside the store.
Garcia took the power tool, placed it in a shopping cart and left the store, knocking down merchandise as she went. Garcia did not pay before she left.
Garcia then crossed the parking lot and abandoned the cart on the ground. The employee found her in the parking lot and the police arrived shortly after to make the arrest.