Editor's Note: The following editorial by News and Sentinel of Colebrook Publisher Karen Harrigan initially ran in that newspaper last week. It reflects, as only that hometown newspaper could, on the...
LITTLETON – Littleton police are searching for the man they say attempted an armed robbery Tuesday evening at a gas station and convenience store on Cottage Street but was thwarted by a cashier who refused to give him any money.
The suspect, armed with a pistol, approached the store counter and demanded cash but fled the scene when he didn't get any, Littleton Police Chief Paul Smith said Wednesday.
"She just said, 'We're not giving you any money,' " said Smith, who added quickly that police do not advise employees faced with an armed robber to follow that same course of action.
"No, that's not the recommended course of action, according to law enforcement. Money's money. You can't replace a person, and it's fortunate that no one was injured in this incident," said Smith, adding that police are not releasing the identity of two cashiers who were on duty at the time.
The chief said employees are advised to comply with the demands of robbers and avoid, to the extent possible, a confrontation that could result in injury or death.
Police were called shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday to the Circle K/Irving gas station a short distance from the downtown shopping district and near the site of the old Littleton Regional Hospital.
"Once the officers checked the welfare of the store clerks and customers, they were able to determine the suspect approached the store counter and demanded cash. When the suspect was not able to obtain money from the cashier, he fled the scene. No injuries were reported," police said in a news release they issued Wednesday morning.
After police secured the crime scene, a New Hampshire State Police K-9 unit search of the area did not locate the suspect, who was believed to have fled in a vehicle.
He was described as 5-foot-6, of medium build, wearing a green, hooded jacket and blue jeans. His face was covered by a "half-faced" ski mask, police said, and he's believed to have light brown or hazel eyes. He was carrying a pistol of unknown caliber.
New Hampshire Fish and Game officers, as well as personnel from police departments in Franconia, Lisbon and Bethlehem, assisted in the investigation.
Smith asked that anyone having information on the incident contact the Littleton Police Department at 444-2422.