An expectant mom took matters into her own hands when a man tried to grab her money at a California convenience store, chasing after the would-be thief to take back the thousands of dollars she and her husband had saved for that month’s rent, officials said.
Jannette Garlow had stopped into Canyon Market at about 10:30 a.m. last Friday to get two money orders, bringing more than $1,900 in cash that she began sorting on the store’s counter, she told InsideEdition.com.
"Then this guy came in and tried buying something from behind the counter... and instead of reaching for the product, he shoved me out of the way and grabbed the money," she said.
If the alleged suspect thought the 23-year-old mother-to-be was an easy mark, he quickly learned he was sorely mistaken.
Surveillance footage showed Garlow dash after the man, grabbing at him in an effort to get her family’s hard-earned money back.
“There was a rug in the store and he ended up falling. My center of gravity was off because of the baby, and I fell too. I grabbed onto him and he ended up dragging me,” she recalled.
Outside, the suspect ran to a car waiting about two storefronts down from the shop. And Garlow followed him, determined to keep him from getting away.
"I grabbed onto the handle and he was like, 'Go! Go! Go!' The driver knew he had done something and they sped off really quickly," she said. "As soon as the car started going, and I realized they didn’t care that I was there, the adrenaline slowed down. I thought, 'You’re eight months pregnant; you really can’t be holding onto cars, let alone chasing robbers.’”
Understanding that many may not agree with her decision to take matters into her own hands, Garlow explained that her pregnancy — while the most important thing in her life — was not at the forefront of her mind.
“We had been struggling a bit... this money was the difference of us having a place for our child to lay his head, and that’s all I could really think about,” Garlow said. “I couldn’t let this guy take everything that we worked for.”
Garlow is a behavioral therapist, but has been on disability since her pregnancy began to adversely affect her back, which she had broken in a car accident when she was in high school. Her husband, Justin Garlow, typically works around the clock to support their expanding family.
"We do have a kid on the way, and in order to raise that child the right way, we need to have a house to put them in," Justin Garlow — whose 27th birthday was the day of the robbery — told InsideEdition.com. “I don’t blame her at all; I would’ve done the same thing. At that point she was just thinking of the struggle. I’m really proud of her — she fought hard for our family and she fought for us."
As it turned out, the quick-thinking store clerk managed to grab the majority of the money when the suspect first made his move, and most of the remaining cash was knocked out of his hands as he fell, Garlow said.
All in all, the robber made off with about $60, she said.
"Even if he had gotten away with more... we can get money back,” Justin Garlow said. “I’m just glad the baby is okay and she is okay.
"And now we’ve got stories to tell him, I guess," he said, laughing. "Look what your mom went through, and you’re a tough little kid."
The couple immediately went to the doctor to make sure their soon-to-be first-born child was not harmed in the incident and were relieved he was perfectly healthy.
"The doctor said my blood pressure was normal, the baby’s heart rate was normal — he was kind of just along for the ride,” she said, chuckling. "I couldn’t be more thankful."
The suspect is described as a male in his thirties, standing at about 5-foot-9-ches and was last seen speeding off in a white Ford Fusion with tinted windows and a moon roof, police said. The vehicle was last seen traveling northbound on Solamint Road, near Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country.
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station said that as of Thursday, no one has been taken into custody in connection to the incident, and urged anyone with information to contact the sheriff’s station at 661-255-1121.
“If anyone knows anything, please come forward,” the expectant mom said. “Help get this guy off the street — a guy who will rob a pregnant woman and drag her from the store... if he’s willing to do that, I don’t see him questioning doing anything else, taking anything else from anyone. And that money could be the money from their child’s mouth or could be their car payment; it could be their rent."