GREENWOOD, Ind (WISH) — Surveillance video shows a clerk being held at gunpoint. But in the unusual robbery, the victim doesn’t give in to the suspect’s demands. Instead, the robber complies to the victim.
It happened on Dec. 29th at Greenwood Discount Tobacco on Fry Road near US 31. Police are now releasing video in hopes of gaining tips that will lead to an arrest.
According to Greenwood Assistance Police Chief Matthew Fillenwarth, it was the clerk’s first day on the job. He was offered a part time position, but if he performed well, he’d get full-time hours.
Fillenwarth believes he was only trying to do a good job, “I’ve never seen this happen. I’ve watched a lot of videos of crimes over the years and I’ve never seen anybody do what he did.”
The video shows the suspect walk in, pull out a gun and a grocery bag. You see the clerk struggle to get the register opened. Once it’s opened, the robber tries to grab money but the clerk closes it. He points his finger at the suspect.
According to Fillenwarth, he’s lecturing him, “Here’s where the clerk is, you know, ‘What your’e doing is wrong. You should go get a job like the rest of us and work for your money.'”
The suspect gets behind the counter. The clerk tells him to go to the other side, and, even though the suspect is the only one with a gun, he complies. He tries pushing buttons on the cash register, but the clerk gets his finger out again for another lecture.
“The clerk is now taking control of the whole armed robbery. Now he tells him ‘You put that gun away and you stand back and I will give you some money. And, so the guy, the suspect has the gun back in his pocket and you’ll see him. He’s trying to say ‘Look, I complied,'” said Fillenwarth.
At another point in the video, you see the robber poke the clerk with his gun. The clerk clenches his fist, as if he’s going to fight him. A witness is seen coming in, but when he realizes what’s going on, he rushes back out. Police say that witness called 911. The robbery went on for about six minutes, until the clerk put a few bills in the bag. The suspect then left. Police believe the victim was trying to protect his job. Although they say his actions were brave, they advise against it.
“Not only is it endangering his own life and health, but customers. By you not complying and just getting them out of there as quick as you can, give them the money, and get them out, you’re raising that suspect’s anxiety level above what they already are,” warned Fillenwarth.
Within minutes of the robbery, the clerk was back to helping out customers. Police advise against this also, because it could compromise the crime scene.
The suspect is still on the loose. If you recognize the man in the video, or have any information that could help in this investigation, contact the Greenwood Police Department at 317-882-9191.