VIDEO: Masked man attempts to rob Gastonia convenience store

- A man attempted to rob a Gastonia convenience store on Tuesday - but left with less than he thought. 

“And he didn’t say anything and his head was down and he B-lined straight up through here and went straight to the safe,” Tanis Cook explained.

Surveillance video shows a masked man marching into a convenience store in Gastonia. The suspect didn’t leave with what you might expect.  

“He didn’t take any money from the store,” Cook said.

Cook is the clerk shown in the surveillance video. She works at Kingsway off Kendrick and Gaston Day School Road.

From customers buying bubble gum and scratch offs – Cook says she knows most people who come inside.

“Most of the people who come in here are my regular customers. I see them every day,” she said.

It’s a similar yet eerie feeling surrounding the mystery man in the video.

“The voice sounded familiar, almost like it was a customer and I had heard that voice before and he’s been in here before,” Cook said.

Cook explained the man did not take any money from the safe or the cash register. Instead, he left with only her pocket book which was lying on the ground.

“It’s almost like somebody thought there was something in my pocketbook that they were going to benefit from,” she said.

Cook said she hit the silent alarm as the man, who she’s not sure was armed or not, was rummaging behind the counter.

“I just kind of eased my way over here and he was looking down and I just hit it,” she said.

The thief was in and out in less than a minute but right after he left, he tried to walk back in again.

“Probably 30 seconds later he came back and tried to get in the store,” Cook said.

The clerk had already locked the doors. The thief then picked something up in the parking lot and fled. Cook said there really wasn’t much inside the pocketbook.

“I had about $30 to $40,” she said.

The video clearly shows the man searching through the safe but he left without any of the money inside of it. He never even made a move towards the cash register.

“And he said just stand there and you’ll be fine,” Cook said.

Is this simply a confused criminal? It’s tough to tell – but Cook has a message for the man in the mask.

“I hope it was worth it, what goes around comes around,” she said.

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