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A group of Girl Scouts was the target of an attempted robbery Sunday evening.

Around 6 p.m. March 24, Charles County sheriff’s officers went to the 3200 block of Plaza Way in Waldorf after someone called to report a strong-arm robbery.

Diane Richardson, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, said a man and woman were arguing near a group of Girl Scouts who were selling cookies outside a business. The girls were between the ages of 8 and 17.

The woman approached the Scouts and their troop leader and pushed the cookies off the table. The man, later identified as James Ernest Wright, 48, attempted to grab a donation box from the table, Richardson said.

She said the troop leader grabbed an envelope of cash from the box to keep the man from getting it. Wright then pushed the troop leader in an attempt to grab the envelope. Richardson said Wright fled without the envelope. The woman ran away, too.

Police would not say how much money was in the envelope.

Before police got to the scene, Richardson said, an off-duty Department of Defense officer, also the father of one of the Girl Scouts, was in the area and was alerted by the troop members of the situation.

The father located Wright, and soon after, sheriff’s officers arrived and helped apprehend Wright, who also had lunged at the father.

Wright was charged with second-degree assault, theft and robbery and was being held at the Charles County jail. The woman was not located.

gphillips@somdnews.com