By Michael R. Moser
An armed bandit fled from the scene of a late Saturday evening robbery with much less than he had hoped to get, after a store clerk told the man she could not and would not give him money. It helped that two customers walked into the business as the robbery was taking place.
No one was injured in the incident that took place shortly before midnight at the Elite Exxon on Plateau Rd. at the I-40 intersection, according to Deputy Ryan Ashburn's report. No arrest has been made but Cumberland County Sheriff's Department investigators are checking on leads.
According to the 21-year-old clerk on duty, a man described as being in his early to mid 20s, wearing a long-sleeve orange shirt and a ball cap, entered the store and walked to the beer cooler, retrieving a 12-pack of beer.
The man then approached the counter and asked for four packs of cigarettes. The clerk asked for the man's identification so she could sell him the beer, and the assailant reached into his back pocket and produced a small silver handgun and demanded she open the register.
The clerk responded that she "wasn't giving him any money and that she couldn't open the register," Ashburn wrote in his report.
The clerk said two men walked into the store and the man put his pistol in his back pocket, grabbed the beer and cigarettes off the counter and ran out the door. He fled the scene in a dark-colored car.
One of the men told investigators he walked into the store and up to the counter behind the man dressed in the orange shirt. He said the man suddenly bolted out the door with the clerk telling the fleeing man he had to pay for the items he was taking. She then told the two customers she had just been robbed at gunpoint.
Investigators Jerry Jackson and Jeffery Slayton responded to the scene and reviewed a store surveillance video. They report that the investigation is ongoing.