RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--At first the store clerk thought it was a joke, but quickly realized it was no laughing matter when the suspect whipped out a gun and demanded the cash drawer.
Police say the robber made a big mistake, though, by wasting precious getaway seconds on a return trip to the register area.
So Wednesday he found himself cuffed, seated and surrounded at the corner of Leigh and Belvidere Streets.
VCU Police and a bike patrol from Richmond Police caught the robbery suspect following the crime which had been committed in broad daylight. Police say it happened a few blocks away on Harrison Street.
"He had a blue bandanna over his face, then pulled a gun out and demanded money,” said Asib Chowdhery, whose mom was the clerk. "She’s in constant fear of getting robbed anytime."
Chowdery’s father dad owns the Harrison Mart, a convenience store on the outskirts of the VCU campus that's been in the news three times this past year. All of the incidents were violent robberies.
"Last week there was a robbery here,” said Mohsin Shah, a family friend. “They continue to go on. The owner has been beaten in the past and kids just steal from him."
Police say that's exactly who was involved Wednesday: teenage kids, in fact, two juveniles.
They were arrested and charged with robbery. The store owner’s son tells CBS 6 the armed robber got away with about two hundred bucks but says greed helped police capture him quickly.
"[He had] almost left, then turned around and grabbed Dutch Master cigarellos, vanilla."
That flavor left a bad taste in the mouth of people who live and work in the area. Students living nearby say it's a game changer for how they pay attention to their surroundings.
“I mean it can happen anywhere,” said VCU junior Allison Nasta. “But it definitely has me scared."
After the store’s clerk was badly beaten last year, he quit.
The owner’s son tells me there are certain days when they see people loitering outside, so they lock up and go home, fearing their safety is at risk