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Two suspects sought in botched robbery

Surveillance image of one of the suspects.

A Rhawnhurst tobacco store cashier survived a frightful clash with a violent gunman during a failed robbery attempt late last month.

Philadelphia police on Monday released surveillance video of the crime in hope of identifying two robbers, one of whom pistol-whipped the female cashier.

The two would-be robbers entered Tobacco Junction, at 8259 Bustleton Ave., at about 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 23, and marched straight for the sales counter. According to police, the lead robber was armed with a pistol and told the cashier, “don’t push the button.” Undaunted, the employee quickly pushed a panic button she was wearing around her neck. Seeing this, the gunman reached across the counter and bashed the clerk in the head with the weapon.

The gunman and his accomplice, who was pacing nearby, immediately ran from the store southbound on Bustleton Avenue, police said. The video shows both robbers almost bumping into a store patron as they entered and exited the store. The shopper, who appears to be a middle-aged or senior woman, seemed unaware of the emergency until the men were exiting the store.

Police did not report any injuries related to the incident.

The gunman was described as black, 30 years old, tall and with a heavy build. He wore a green camouflage jacket with a hood, dark glasses, jeans and white sneakers. The accomplice was described as black, 30 years old and thin, wearing black pants, a hooded black jacket with a white drawstring and a dark ski cap.

Visit the Philadelphia Police channel on YouTube.com to view the surveillance video. Call 215–686-TIPS or text to PPD TIP to report information about the case. Call 911 in an emergency. ••

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