Two clerks at the Rite Aid in Old Mill were about to hand over money to an armed robber Thursday morning when one of them looked closely at the weapon.
"That's a toy gun," one clerk, 61, told the would-be bandit, who ran out.
The man entered the store in the 600 block of Old Mill Road about 10:15 a.m., pulled out a weapon and demanded money from a cashier, a police report said.
The cashier, also 61, called to the clerk that the store was being robbed. The clerk, who was on the phone, told the caller to alert police, then hung up and joined the cashier at the register, police reported.
When the gunman asked if she wanted to die, the clerk told him police were on the way. And when she remarked on his toy gun, the empty-handed bandit ran from the store.
Two Eastern District officers arrested a man in the parking lot of the Northway Liquor store in the 8100 block of Veterans Highway short time later. Officers found a silver plastic toy gun with a brown grip in a nearby trash bin, police said.
John Lewis Swift, 42, of the 600 block of Millwright Court, was charged with attempted robbery, the report said.
'Stick Bandit' robs another motel clerk
The "Stick Bandit" struck again Thursday evening, menacing a clerk at the Super 8 Motel in the first block of Old Mill Bottom Road and escaping with an undisclosed amount of money, county police said.
The 20-year-old clerk was at the counter when a man entered about 7:30 p.m. and asked for a room. She turned her back as he filled out a registration form. When she turned around, the man pointed a 2-foot-long stick with a jagged end at her and ordered her to empty the cash register, police said.
On Wednesday the same man used the same method to rob a Howard Johnson's motel on the same block, police said. And on July 4, a man armed with a stick robbed a Days Inn in the 1500 block of Whitehall Road.