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Store robber forgets where he put his gun

February 22, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
By all accounts, it looked like a man just buying a bottle of water at a convenience store in Mission Viejo. But this was no ordinary customer. It was a holdup, and the suspect couldn't find his gun for several minutes.

Surveillance video shows what looks like a regular customer looking for his wallet to pay for a bottle of water. It's 1 a.m. on Valentine's Day at a 7-Eleven store in Mission Viejo.

"The clerk rang it up and says, 'You owe me $1.79.' He rummages through his backpack for about a minute," said Orange County Sheriff's Spokesman Jim Amormino.

The suspect, in his 30s, continues to go through every pocket in his backpack. At one point he walks out of the store, then returns.

He re-checks the compartments of his bag, with more than two minutes of rifling through it until he seems to remember, then reaches in his pants pocket and pulls out a handgun.

"I thought I saw everything until I saw this tape," said Amormino. "He may simply have forgotten where he placed his gun. We don't know what happened, but it's a long time to spend during a robbery."

The suspect orders the clerk to hand over the money from both cash registers. He takes the bottle of water and demands a couple cartons of cigarettes.

After several minutes inside the store, the suspect leaves.

There is no description of the getaway vehicle.

The suspect is described as a white male, standing 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighing about 150 pounds. He was wearing a black sweatshirt and black shorts.

If you know recognize the suspect, you're asked to call the Orange County Sheriff's Dept (866) TIP-OCSD.