An Unsuccessful Robber and His Broken Toy Gun

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So it's 1AM and you are poking around the local convenience store for a cola or a pack or Fun Yuns and in comes a masked individual swinging around what looks like a small compact submachine gun. This is not a pop quiz, it really happened on Christmas Eve and the outcome may puzzle you.

The incident

Suburban Derry Township PA, pop 23,000 or so, isn't what you would call a high-crime mecca. Nevertheless, one customer of the Red Apple Convenience store located just off Route 217, may have a different view of that. In the late night/early morning hours of Christmas Eve, an older gentleman is seen in video surveillance footage calmly browsing the aisles. Then, crashing in through the door to the cold street outside comes a small figure, bundled up against the weather. Clad in a coat, hoodie, and gloves, the newcomer starts waving around a small, camouflaged item that looks an awful lot like a gun.

In a classic case of in-the-wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time, our patron is right in front of the door when this happens. Instantly the apparent robber gets into a scuffle with our unarmed citizen shopper.

Pushing the citizen back into a display of store wares, the bandit pushes the gun into his face. There is nothing wrong with avoiding a fight, but this incident seemed to be unavoidable. Fighting for his life, the patron grabs at the weapon and snaps.

It turns out that the gun was actually a plastic toy. After having his toy broken so close to Christmas, the wannabe crook pulls away from our hero and runs around the store, finally leaving with the only thing he came in with. Followed by the citizen out the door, the hapless robber was possibly last seen looking for tape.

Fake gun/ Real crime

Although the gun wasn't real, the attempted crime involved was. In an interview with the Pennsylvania State Police recorded by WTAE news, "He doesn't even have to display anything. Just the fact he says he has a weapon or displays in this case, it constitutes the same exact crime as if he had a real gun," said Tpr. Steve Limani.

Our hats off to the unidentified customer, citizen, and hero, and our wishes to the PA State Police for a speedy apprehension of the fool who tried to do this.

Anyone with information on the suspect's identity is asked to call state police in Greensburg at 724-832-3288.

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December 26, 2013  •  12:48 PM
Criminals who carry fake guns, think they can get away with their crimes. When, most of them get shot with the real thing...
December 29, 2013  •  10:49 AM
damn shame the citizen wasnt armed and put a permanent stop to this "nice young man getting his life turned around" life long carreer of murder and robbery