WHEELING - Police say a man robbed the Gumby's on National Road at gunpoint Sunday night after store employees broke a policy designed specifically to prevent such crimes.
Two employees were in the store when a woman came to the door around 8:50 p.m. Sunday. The building's doors are supposed to remain locked after 8:30 p.m. and customers should use the drive through, employees told police, but they unlocked them because they recognized the woman as a regular customer.
Immediately after the woman entered the business, a white man wearing a hooded sweatshirt and a bandana over his face followed. He pushed the customer to the ground, drew a gun and demanded the employees hand over the store's cash.
Employees forfeited the money, and the suspect exited through the rear door and was last scene heading east on Lumber Avenue. Police described him as 5 feet 8 inches tall weighing 200 pounds. He was wearing blue jeans, gray sneakers and pink gloves. Employees also told police the man walked with a very noticeable limp.
Detectives are reviewing video evidence of the robbery. As of this morning, Gumby's was still working to determine how much cash was taken in the crime.
After the suspect pushed her to the ground, the female customer ran into the store's bathroom and locked the door, police reported. She told officers she could hear the robber demand that the employees open the safe.
"I'd imagine detectives are going to want to have a longer conversation with her," Deputy Police Chief Martin Kimball said of the customer.