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Regulars Can't Always be Trusted

Chalk this one up to the slumping economy or plain stupidity.

When John Edwards hobbled in on crutches to the Zooms convenience store Saturday night, no one thought much of it. A regular customer, the 40-year-old Surry County resident chatted with other folks in the store as he made his way up the aisle of the store. But when he got to store clerk Janet Gibbs, he pulled out a handgun, pointed it at her and told her to hand over the money, according to the Daily Press based in Hampton Roads, Va.

Others in the store thought he was joking. And Gibbs was having none of it. Instead of handing over the money as company policy would have her do, Gibbs told the man to get out of her face, and she walked away to call "911."

Edwards didn't try to shoot her, and he took no money. He just turned and hustled out of the store to the car, where his wife was waiting to drive him away, the report said.

After fleeing the store, Edwards and his wife hid out, Brown said. They managed to elude the sheriff's deputies for several hours before being arrested.

Edwards was charged with attempted robbery and use of a firearm in a threatening manner. His wife, Lisa, was charged as an accessory for driving the getaway car.

The clerk, who declined comment, violated Zooms' policy by refusing to hand over cash to an armed robber, said Scott Shipley, vice president of operations for Zooms. Employees receive 40 hours of training in how to handle robbery situations. The company declined to say if it would take any disciplinary action.

Shipley, however, added that he has never heard of a regular customer trying to rob one of his stores at gunpoint.
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