ORANGE COUNTY, CA -- Authorities are seeking witnesses to an attempted gas station robbery in which the gunman had a mysterious change of heart and left without any money.
"He didn’t get the cash,” said Capt. Bruce McAlpine of the Los Alamitos Police Department. “The robbery wasn’t completed. He decided to give up (and leave). We don’t have any idea why, but we’re glad he did.”
Just after 1:30 a.m. Dec. 29, the gunman approached a female employee as she was cleaning the parking lot at the Shell gas station on 10961 Los Alamitos Blvd., McAlpine said.
Wielding a semi-automatic pistol, the man told her to get back into the station and get money from the register.
The woman reportedly fell to the ground, but didn’t sustain any injuries.
“Don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me” she said, according to McAlpine.
After she and the gunman “had an exchange of words" she got off the ground, and -- instead of obeying him -- walked away from him, McAlpine said.
After she walked away, “for whatever reason, the suspect decided not to harm [her] or not to do anything violent," McAlpine said.
The man then fled without any money.
The gunman was described as unshaved, in his 30s, between 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-8, and wearing a black baseball cap and black jacket.
McAlpine said there were probably surveillance cameras on the site, but he didn’t know if the incident had been captured on camera.
Witnesses or anyone who has more information are asked to call police at 562-431-2255, ext. 426.