Not satisfied with $800 in cash, this ‘Penny-Pincher Bandit’ pockets spare change too


Police requested the public’s help Thursday in identifying an armed man who stole more than $800 in cash and cigarettes from a gas station in Canoga Park.

The robbery occurred just before midnight Saturday, when a man walked into the store wearing a black Monster brand hoodie, said LAPD Det. Fernando Avila. The suspect took out money and pretended to buy cigarettes to distract the clerk, then pulled out a gun, Avila said.

“We noticed the guy stole one thing, even before he pulled the gun,” Avila said. “You can see him reach into the take-a-penny-leave-a-penny tray when the clerk turns to retrieve the packs of cigarettes the robber feigned to buy.”


Authorities described the suspect as a man in his 40s with a shaved head and a goatee. His left ear is pierced and he was wearing an earring.

“When we catch this guy, I’m going to let him know how unlucky those pennies were,” Avila said.

Avila said that in a video of the robbery, the suspect seems to point a black semi-automatic handgun, which he kept in his waistband.

“The penny pincher demands all the money in the cash register and he is not satisfied until the clerk gathers several wads of money,” he said. “The robber does not forget to take the cigarettes he ordered either.”

Police urged anyone with information about the robbery to call Avila at (818) 756-3520.

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