Monday, June 20, 2011

You've got to spend money to make money

This is a truism that usually applies to entrepreneurship, but in this case, it applies to thievery, too:
Fort Lauderdale police said the unidentified robber pointed a gun at an employee of the 1939 NW Ninth Ave. Family Dollar store June 1 and ordered a second clerk to open the register, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Monday.

However, the clerks explained they could not open the register unless a purchase was made, and the robber took $1 from his pocket and paid for a pack of gum, police said.

Police said the man fled with the money from the register, including his $1.
Sure, this is just another armed robbery story, but what fascinates me here is the fact that all the parties involved pretty much played by the rules. Yeah, the suspect um, kind of robbed the place and took off with the money, sure. Which is plenty wrong by any standard. But the clerks insisted that in spite of being threatened with a gun, they couldn't open the register unless he bought something.

The gun-toting thug then proceeded not only to select an item from the store's inventory, but to also fish out a dollar from his pocket and pay for it. Pretty much because they asked him to, in spite of the fact that he was holding them at gunpoint.

I've never been the victim of an armed robbery before, but I'm pretty sure that if a guy with a gun said, "Okay, just pretend like I bought a pack of gum--or not, it's really your choice--and you open the register and nobody gets hurt regardless of the store policy," I think I'd go along with that.

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