Cody Conner demanded the money from the cash register at a Florida adult novelty shop, but ended up receiving a job application and an earful of advice, according to police.
Conner, 17, is accused of attempting to rob Cupid's Corner in DeBary, a city located about 25 miles northeast of Orlando. Police said Conner entered the adults-only establishment Wednesday night, pulled a handgun out of his waistband and demanded a female clerk give him all the money in the register.
"The woman told him 'Don't do this. It's not worth it,' but the teen said he had to because his family was sick and he had to support his grandfather," said Brandon Haught, a spokesman for the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.
Conner and the clerk, a mother of four named Cheryl Hunter, had a 20-minute discussion, during which she convinced him to unload his firearm and take a job application, according to police. Surveillance footage from the store shows that Conner filled out the application and hugged Hunter. The pair also smoked a cigarette together before Hunter went to a nearby convenience store to report the incident, police said.
"I talked him out of [robbing the store]," Hunter told a 911 dispatcher. "I had him fill an application. I told him I'd give him a job."
When Volusia County deputies arrived on the scene Conner was gone. They were, however, shocked to discover he had supplied his real name, address and home phone number on the job application.
Authorities caught up with the accused would-be robber less than half a mile away and took him into custody without incident.
According to Haught, Conner "admitted to committing the robbery, saying that he had been looking everywhere for a job to help his grandparents pay their bills." Conner told police the weapon was actually a BB gun and that he had thrown it near a lake after the robbery. Deputies have not yet recovered it.
Conner was charged with armed robbery and taken to the Volusia Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Daytona Beach.
Conner's grandmother, Wilda Harris, said he recently moved from Ohio to help his grandfather, who is recovering from a heart attack. "He's a good kid," Harris told WESH.com. "I don't know what happened. My husband's having all this and he needs six surgeries, and there is no money to do nothing."
Harris also said she never expected her grandson to turn to crime to help the family out.
"I'm glad nobody is hurt,that's all I can say," Harris told WESH.
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