Robber: "Give me your $$" Clerk: "No" Robber: "OK"
When the robber confronted him, Michael Jones thought only of all the hours he and his parents devoted to their gas station in Seward.
Jones decided that he wasn't giving the robber anything, despite the suspect's claims that he had a knife.
"We work too hard for the money," said Jones, 45, a manager and mechanic at his parents' Roadway Auto Service. "I told him no."
State police at Greensburg said the robber, described as in his late teens or early 20s, walked into the business about 6 p.m. Tuesday. He fled with no money after Jones refused several times to surrender money and pulled an alarm.
Jones, who works at least 70 hours per week at the station, said Wednesday that he saw the robber hit the station door with his shoulder and burst inside.
"He said, 'Give me all the money, man.' I said, 'What? You've got to be kidding,'" Jones said.
The suspect, whose hands were concealed under a sweatshirt, told him he had a knife and would cut him, Jones recalled.
"When he told me he had a knife ... I didn't see anything sharp," Jones said. "I thought, 'I'll take my chances.'"
He said the robber demanded money seven or eight times and seemed surprised when he refused. A knife wasn't produced.
"It was almost comical the way it happened. He probably thought he was going to get the money pretty easy," Jones said.
During one exchange, they talked about the cash register.
"I said, 'If you want the money, you open that register,' " Jones said. "He said, "I don't know how.' 'I said, 'That's your tough luck, buddy.' "
He estimated the ordeal lasted eight to 10 minutes.
"It was really weird, because I didn't know what he was going to do, and he didn't seem to know what to do," Jones said.
"And it was 6 p.m., and it should have been the busiest time of the day for me, but nobody was pulling in. I was appalled that he had the nerve to do something like that at 6 p.m."
Jones has worked at the business since his parents became owners nearly 25 years ago. He said his parents, Thomas and Virginia, are so devoted to the enterprise that they haven't taken a vacation in all the time they've owned it.
Jones' father said he's not sure what to think about what his son did.
"I don't know if he was being foolish or brave. I think he was just mad that someone would have the gall to come in there and hold it up," he said.
But the father said anyone who holds up a gas station or other small business can't expect to get much money.
"It's really stupid to take that chance," the elder Jones said of holdups.
Police described the suspect as white, about 6 feet tall and weighing 150 pounds. He was wearing a white, hooded sweatshirt and most of his face was covered by a maroon or burgundy scarf. The robber also wore green, basketball-style shorts with white tennis shoes.
After the attempted robbery, the suspect ran to a car, possibly driven by a woman with brown hair and red highlights, that was parked outside the station, police said.
Trooper Jeanne Martin, public information officer for Troop A, based at Greensburg, and the investigating officer couldn't be reached for comment yesterday.
After the ordeal, Jones thought about what he had done.
"I started thinking about what could have happened," he said.
Jones said it was the first - and he hopes last - time that he is held up.
"I don't want to repeat it. That's for sure," he said.
"I'm just glad it happened to me and not my mom and dad."