Man uses fake bomb in convenience store robbery

Police are warning convenience store clerks to be alert to unusual tactics used by a man who robbed a QuikTrip on Friday afternoon.

The man pulled up to a gas pump at the QT at 5602 E. Harry at about 5:45 p.m., pressed the assistance button and told the clerk he needed help pumping gas because he was disabled, Lt. Doug Nolte said. That location is at Harry and Edgemoor.

When the clerk went out to the gas pump, the suspect handed him a small box and told him it was a bomb that he would detonate if he didn’t cooperate, Nolte said. The suspect then contacted another clerk inside the store and told him to bring cash to him or he would set off the bomb.

He made a second call inside and told the other clerk to “hurry up, or he’ll blow the place up,” Nolte said.

The second clerk brought money out in a bag and tossed it into the diver’s side of the suspect’s car.

The suspicious box was about the size of a cellphone box, Nolte said, and had wires and a timer clock visible.

“Both individuals felt like this was a bomb,” Nolte said.

Someone called 911, he said, but the suspect drove off before police arrived. The two clerks were unable to provide a description of the robber, who was driving a blue Chevy Impala with no license plate.

The box turned out to be empty, Nolte said — a ruse to deceive the victims.

“The concern is that this person lured someone out and then created what was potentially a dangerous situation,” Nolte said.

Clerks should not accept packages from customers, he said.

“We certainly do not want to see this happen again,” Nolte said.