An armed robber had a bad day at the office today.
Just after midnight this morning, a man claiming to have a gun threatened two convenience store workers. But the manager ran into her office and locked the door and the clerk ran out the front door, leaving the man with no one to rob and no way to get into the cash drawer, police said.
So the man grabbed three cartons of cigarettes from the Circle K, 4420 Second Ave., and left, said Columbus Police Lt. Charles Kennedy.
Meanwhile, the fleeing clerk flagged down a driver and asked him to call 911, Kennedy said. But the man didn't have a cellphone. So the 21-year-old driver took off running after the robber, caught him after about a block and half in the 4400 block of First Avenue, wrestled with him, took the cigarettes away and tried to hold him for police.
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But the robber escaped — empty-handed, probably winded an possibly bruised for all his trouble.
Columbus Police are looking for a man witnesses described as a light-skinned black male, 5-foot-10-inches tall, 18-20 years old, wearing a blue hoodie, blue jeans, a bluish-white shirt beneath his jacket and tennis shoes.
Kennedy said police appreciate what the man did, but ...
"We'd rather citizens be lookouts rather than take a chance of getting hurt," said Kennedy. "He was being a good citizen, but he was taking a chance. It's dangerous for the citizen not knowing what he is getting in to."