Gumby-suited robbery suspect foiled by own disguise
In this surveillance video taken Sept. 5, 2011 and released by the San Diego Police Department showing a suspect dressed like Gumby telling a convenience store clerk he is being robbed, fumbling inside the costume as if to pull a gun.
SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Apparently, Pokey's sidekick just wasn't cut out for a life of crime.
A man who made a botched attempt to rob a Rancho Penasquitos convenience store while clad in a full-figured Gumby costume -- actually losing a bit of money instead of making off with any -- remained at large Wednesday, according to San Diego police.
The would-be thief disguised as the famed green claymation character entered the 7-Eleven in the 9700 block of Carmel Mountain Road along with an ordinarily dressed cohort shortly after midnight Monday, SDPD Detective Gary Hassen said.
"Gumby said, 'This is a robbery,"' Hassen said. "And the clerk thought it was a joke. He said, `I have cleaning to do, and I don't have time for this."'
The man in the costume -- complete with Gumby's trademark steeply slanting head and cheerful, yellow-and-red facial features -- then replied that he had a gun and began struggling with the unwieldy suit, as if trying to retrieve a concealed weapon.
Fumbling with the outfit for several moments, the bandit only managed to drop 26 cents' worth of change, which he then was unable to retrieve from the floor.
His companion, meanwhile, had wandered out of the store and gotten into a white or silver minivan, which he pulled in front of the business, Hassen said. After the driver honked his horn a few times, the frustrated man in the Gumby getup walked out and got into the vehicle, and the pair drove off.
The victim, still unconvinced an actual robbery attempt had happened, did not report it. A manager who arrived for his work shift about 6 a.m., however, decided a crime had transpired and called the police.
Though a bit surreal, the incident was under investigation as a legitimate attempted holdup, according to Hassen.
"Whether it's (a person in) a Gumby costume, ski mask or whatever, he said he had a gun, and I have to believe he had a gun," the detective said.
A surveillance camera captured the entire odd episode on video, providing fairly clear images of the disguised man's outfit and the appearance of his cohort, who appeared to be in his late teens or early 20s.
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