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Clerks Give Robber A Jump-Start

Sun., July 13, 1997

A gunman robbed a convenience store of less than $100 - and then gave it back because his car wouldn’t start.

In return, the two clerks at the 7-Eleven gave his car a jump-start. They also waited 40 minutes before calling police, and didn’t get the guy’s license plate number.

“We have a friendly town out here,” police Officer David Kuppler said of the St. Louis suburb.

Kuppler said the robber told the clerks the holdup was a joke, but he also noted that the robber “still had the gun and (the clerks were) just complying with him.”

About an hour after the 7-Eleven heist early Friday, a suspect was arrested after a robbery at a nearby gas station, along with an alleged helper. Each was charged with two counts of first-degree robbery, said Paul Kaiser of the St. Charles County prosecutor’s office.

The manager of the 7-Eleven, who would not give his name, referred questions to the franchise owner but would not give his name.

Margaret Chabris, spokeswoman for the Dallas-based Southland Corp., parent company of 7-Eleven, said there was no indication the clerks did anything wrong. She said 7-Eleven clerks are advised not to be confrontational and not to resist a robber.

“If there’s a robbery we can replace the money and the product,” she said.

As for giving the robber a jump-start, she said: “If there’s a gun then maybe they made the right decision, depending on how threatened they felt.”


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