People on the business end of a revolver usually don't ask for a test shot to prove the weapon is real. But that's what a gas station clerk in Severn did Friday night - preventing a robbery but apparently not ending a night of crime for the gunman.
About 9 p.m. Friday, the robber entered the Texaco station in the 1600 block of Annapolis Road, brandishing a black revolver, police said.
The clerk grabbed a wad of money from the register, but before turning it over asked the gunman to fire the weapon into the ground.
The gunman "then lowered the weapon," according to an Anne Arundel County police press release, "and the employee grabbed a three-foot stick from behind the counter and threatened the suspect, causing him to leave the premises." Police said he did not fire the weapon.
About an hour and a half later, a gunman with a similar description entered a Paceway gas station and convenience store in Gambrills and displayed a black handgun. This time, the clerk didn't ask for a test shot.
The clerk emptied the cash drawer and handed the robber an undisclosed sum of money, police said.
One of the employees at the Paceway said last night that the gun looked real. When the gunman placed it on the counter, it clanked like it was made of metal, said the employee, Rob Morrison.
"It wasn't worth second-guessing," he said. "I would have rather just given him the money. Money's replaceable. Lives aren't."
Lt. Joseph Jordan, a county police spokesman, said both crimes appeared to be the work of the same person. He also said that those who find themselves held up at gunpoint should not ask for proof of the weapon's capabilities.