An unnamed woman reportedly carried out an act of armed robbery at a Pennsylvania gas station last week—and it all started with two cartons of cigarettes, according to the Herald-Standard.
Authorities have noted that the suspect asked a BFS Food and Gas Station cashier for 21 packs of Newport cigarettes. The attended explained that the cigarettes had to stay on the counter until she paid, due to a spate of recent thefts.
That’s when things went left, turning a simple cigarette purchase into an act of armed violence.
“She became nervous and upset and pulled out a knife from her pocket and asked for the cigarettes, as well as the money from the register,” Uniontown Police Lt. Tom Kolencik told CBS Pittsburgh.
According to Lt. Kolencik, the woman apologized as she brandished her knife, saying, “I’m sorry, I have to do this.”
The staff did as they were told, fearing for their safety. They handed the woman the cash from the register and gave her a bag for the 21 packs of cigarettes. Oddly, the suspect told clerks to “keep the change” as she exited the store. Police have indicated that she may have stepped outside into a waiting vehicle.
Lt. Kolencik doesn’t believe this was her first—or last—time committing an act of armed robbery. He is also skeptical that the woman was genuinely sorry about her actions.
“If she had food up there or diapers or something for a child, we could be a little more sympathetic,” he told reporters.
Police are still investigating the incident and the assailant is still at large. Employees describe the suspect as a black woman with missing teeth and wearing a blue dress.
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