Madera police are investigating an unusual attack and robbery of a store employee caught on surveillance video. Police say the man in the video surprised the clerk by throwing a soda at him before getting away with about $500.
It happened June 11 at the Madera Avenue Market near Maple Street.
Madera police need the public’s help to identify the man in the video.
Store surveillance video shows the man acting as a paying customer to get face-to-face with his victim.
“As the cashier was opening the drawer to put the money inside the drawer, the male took the lid off his fountain drink and threw the drink into the face of the cashier,” said Detective Shant Sheklanian with the Madera Police Department.
Video shows the suspect reaching for cash in the drawer. The suspect fumbles with the cash and jumps over the counter to grab the rest.
“When the guy came, jump over here and take out all the money from here too, he (the clerk) just scared and ran away over there,” said Fnu Harbens Lal, a store employee.
Lal said his coworker, the man who was robbed, became scared and backed off.
Police said the suspect then ran out the door with the cash.
At least four cameras above the register caught the entire crime.
Two customers were in the store at the time of the robbery, and nobody was hurt.
“It’s scary, I know, but that time everybody scared,” Lal said.
“It’s real messed up because it’s a family-owned business,” said long-time customer Esteban Estrada. “People are just coming over here trying to survive, and some people want to do it the easy way.”
The suspect’s tactic gave the clerk a scare, and police say it was an unusual attack.
“Usually, like I said, there’s going to be a weapon, there’s going to be some type of force, physical or otherwise. Using a soda is the first time I’ve seen it,” Sheklanian said.
Police describe the man in the video as Hispanic, about 20 years old, with a tall, thin build. Police say he has a tattoo on his right arm.
Anyone with information should call Detective Shant Sheklanian with the Madera Police Department at (559) 675-4248.
|Chowchilla News Day
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