A robber wielding a lighted blowtorch made off from a Glendale deli with an unknown amount of cash and a bottle of vodka, police said.
Glendale police said the culprit visited Gardenia Market and Deli, 4121 Pennsylvania Ave., around 10:15 p.m. Saturday evening. He bought a cup of coffee and left.
He returned about 15 minutes later, hanging around the back of the store, seeming to wait for customers to leave, said police spokeswoman Tahnee Lightfoot.
He then rounded the counter where the store clerk was sitting and pulled out a blowtorch and a lighter.
The 25-year-old clerk leaped onto the counter, but he got no farther.
The robber lighted the torch and pointed it at him, instructing him not to move and to give him money, Lightfoot said.
The clerk opened the cash register, and the man grabbed an unknown amount of cash. Then he pulled a bottle of Fear Sonic vodka from a shelf and left, Lightfoot said. The clerk tripped the silent alarm, and police arrived soon after.
The robber's hands appeared dirty, as if he were a mechanic, the clerk later told police.
The man is described as black, about 37 years old, 5 feet 6 and 145 pounds with short black hair and brown eyes. He was wearing a black sweat shirt, a blue shirt and black jeans, Lightfoot said.
A few minutes before the robbery occurred, the clerk saw him driving a brown or silver four-door 1990s Chevrolet Suburban with black primer on the driver's side fender, she said.
Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call Glendale police at (818) 548-4911. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.