December 28, 2011
By Richard Nance
An armed robber was in for quite a surprise recently when he tried to rob the Herd's North Service Station in Monett, Mo. The robber was certainly dressed for the occasion, wearing all black clothing including gloves and a stocking cap. He even wore a Halloween mask and was armed with a rifle. But apparently, the female clerk did not take him seriously.
When the robber entered the store at 8:20 p.m. Dec. 18, he demanded that the clerk open the cash register, but she refused. This prompted the robber to point the rifle at the clerk and threaten to shoot her. When the clerk again refused to open the cash register, the presumably confused robber fled the scene without any loot.
Fortunately for the clerk, her unusual tactic played out perfectly in this scenario. Apparently this criminal was not prepared to up the ante from armed robbery to murder. Had the robber been more committed to his cause, he could have simply shot the clerk and either opened the register or carried it away with him.
When dealing with a desperate criminal, you may be forced to make a split second decision as to whether to comply, fight back or escape. This involves a "risk versus reward" analysis. In the case described above, the clerk would probably have incurred less risk by opening the cash register for the robber, the rationale being that when the robber has the money, there's a very good chance he would leave. No matter how much money was in the till, it could not compare to the clerk's life. Therefore, saving her employers' money was not sufficient reward for her to have risked her life by refusing to open the cash register.
Keep in mind, however, that compliance with a criminal does not necessarily assure your safety. Had the clerk complied and given the robber the cash from the register, who is to say he wouldn't have shot her to prevent her from providing information to authorities, or possibly testifying against him a court proceeding subsequent to his eventual arrest?
Now, if the robber had attempted to kidnap the clerk in order to transport her to another location, she would probably be better off making her stand in the store, where at least someone may come to her aid. Chances are Crime Scene 2 will be a remote area, where your odds of escape are dismal. In such case, it would seem that the robber's intent was to harm you anyway, so the risk of fighting back seems more reasonable.
What would you do if you were the clerk at Herd's North Service Station that night? What if, while legally carrying a concealed handgun, you walked into the store and saw the robber pointing a rifle at the clerk? Would you offer a verbal challenge, shoot the robber or be a "good witness" unless he pointed the rifle at you?
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