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News of the Wierd

Monday March 25, 2002

Customers unknowingly frighten away armed drugstore thief 

MARTINEZ – Police say customers entering a drugstore store unknowingly caused an armed robber to flee the store with only $2.87 of loot. 

Martinez police said a man entered a Rite Aid store just before 7 p.m. Saturday and asked an employee for help in the tobacco section. The man then aimed a small caliber handgun at the clerk and demanded money from a safe. 

The clerk was telling the man he couldn’t access the safe when other customers walked in, apparently scaring away the man before he could take more than cigars worth $2.87. The employee called 911 and told police the man had sped away in a white vehicle. 

Police had not found the suspect Sunday. 


Reno man arrested after standoff over comic books  

RENO, Nev. – A Reno man was arrested after barricading himself in a comic book store and threatening to set off a homemade bomb over a dispute involving stolen comic books, officers said. 

Robert Bailey, 47, an unemployed casino craps dealer, was arrested without incident after the 90-minute standoff Friday at Alex D’s Comics. 

Police negotiators convinced Bailey to surrender without lighting an explosive device made out of small propane canisters, lamp oil and about 4,000 firecrackers, said police Sgt. Doug McPartland. 

“He said he wanted to blow up the place or burn it down,” McPartland told the Reno Gazette-Journal. “If he couldn’t have his comic books, nobody could.”