ST. PETERSBURG — He entered the store in a mask, wielding a long knife and demanding money. Soon he was in full-retreat, backing out the way he came, fleeing from a 7-Eleven clerk who would have none of it.
Now St. Petersburg police are trying to identify the hapless suspect dubbed the "Rattled Robber."
Police released surveillance video of Tuesday’s attempt at attempting to rob the convenience store at 2632 Park St. N — and another video taken behind the store, as the suspect paced the parking lot out of embarrassment, frustration, shame or some combination thereof.
The video started inside the store, showing the man dressed in a dark mask, dark clothing and dark backpack walking into the 7-Eleven at about 4:15 a.m. He tossed a black bag onto the counter and repeatedly tapped it with his knife. The clerk is leaning over behind the counter, busy at some other task. He did not appear to be in a hurry to address the robber’s demands.
Then it gets interesting: The clerk grabbed a pizza tray from behind the counter and cocked it at the would-be robber. The robber came behind the counter and, after a brief standoff, ripped the kitchen utensil away.
Then the robber forced the clerk toward the register.
Then the momentum quickly turned. The unarmed clerk stomped toward the robber, forcing him to quickly retreat back around the counter and then flee from the store.
Minutes later, video shows the soul-searching taking place behind the store.
There was also video footage of the suspect arriving at the store before the robbery and placing his bicycle in the bed of an employee’s pick-up truck.
Officers recovered the bike and released a photo of it.
That’s right: The man lost his bike, which means he took a net loss during the operation.
Police described the suspect as slim white man, about 5-foot-9, with blue eyes and short brown hair.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call St. Petersburg police at (727) 893-7780 or or text SPPD+ and any tip to TIP411.