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Clerk thwarts attempted robbery with pepper spray

MANCHESTER — A store clerk not only thwarted a robbery by using pepper spray, but also provided police with a vehicle description and partial plate number that resulted in an arrest.

The clerk at Willie B’s Market, 90 Union St., told police that a woman entered the store about 10 minutes past noon Thursday, brandishing a metal pipe or rod and announcing a robbery.

The clerk responded with pepper spray aimed at the would-be robber’s face and eyes.The woman dropped her weapon and fled, but the clerk watched as she drove away in a white pickup truck and was able to provide information to police that resulted in the arrest of Leslie Dirksen, 42, of Manchester, who was found in her vehicle parked in a lot at 40 Pine St.

Dirksen was charged with robbery.