Polite Robber: Called Victim “Sir”

Seattle Times

A man accused of robbing a Seattle convenience store at gunpoint last weekend might have earned points with its owner by being polite.

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But saying “sir” probably won’t impress prosecutors or federal authorities who say they have supervised him since he wrapped up a prison term for an earlier string of hold-ups.

The King County Sheriff’s Office identified the suspect Tuesday as Gregory Hess, 65. He’s a former Starbucks barista who has been on federal supervision since 2007, when he was released from prison after receiving a nearly six-year sentence for hitting five banks and a video store in the Seattle area.

His bail was set at $250,000. He is being held for investigation of robbery but has not been charged.

Hess was arrested after surveillance video of Saturday’s robbery “went viral” and prompted several tips about the suspect’s identity, said sheriff’s Sgt. John Urquhart.

The man in the video is seen telling White Center Shell station owner John Henry: “Could you do me a favor? Empty the till for me please and put it right here. . I’m robbing you, sir.”

“Are you sure?” Henry replies.

“Yes, I’m sure,” the man says.

“Why do you want to do that?”

“Because I need the money,” the man answers. “I’ve got kids that need to be fed, sir. . I really am sorry to have to do this.”

Henry offered the man $40, but the suspect declined it and took $300, promising to pay the money back later, if he could.

Complete story via Seattle Times


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