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Armed robber's remarkable change of heart

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Hum    6,930

When a crime is committed, it's not always a matter of black and white: Just because someone commits a crime does not mean that person is automatically bad. Take what happened at a Papa John's in the Helena, Montana, area. A man, armed with a knife, allegedly walked into the pizzeria early Tuesday morning as the staff was closing for the night and passed the clerk a note demanding money from the register.

When the clerk began taking money out of the register to give to the alleged robber, the robber began to cry. As he cried, he explained to the clerk that he needed money for his wife and children, who were hungry. The warm-hearted clerk spoke to the man and decided to make him a pizza and some chicken wings. :happy: The man waited patiently at a table while the clerk prepared the meal, and when it was done, he took the food and left.

Helena Police Chief Troy McGee hailed the clerk for handling the delicate and dangerous situation so well. "I'd say the clerk was pretty astute; I mean, he knows how to talk to this person. Kind of commiserated with him a little. Talked to him about it and you know actually changed his mind about robbing the place. That was pretty good."

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Breach    50

Yeah, crime's not black or white and some people's reasons are truly sad.

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Growled    3,880

Sounds like they need to make that clerk a manager.

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Hum    6,930

Montana man made up sob story that got him pizza

A masked man who received nationwide attention after police said he cried while trying to rob a pizza restaurant may have invented the story that earned him a kind word and free pizza from the clerk.

Police said Jan. 22 that a man entered Papa John?s on Prospect Avenue, his face covered by a bandanna, and demanded money. But then, police said at the time, the man broke down and said he needed the money to support his wife and children.

Police said Friday the man suspected of the crime has no children in town, and he told the story when he realized how little money was in the cash register.

David Randall Lacey, 33, was arrested Thursday afternoon and faces a charge of felony attempted robbery in the incident.

?David said that when the register was placed on the counter, he realized there was hardly any money,? a police affidavit says. ?At that point, David told the clerk the story about needing money for his wife and kids. David does not have any children in Helena and told me he was referring to his friends? kids, who consider him an uncle.?

The report that Papa John?s had just endured at attempted robbery came to police at about 12:13 a.m. on Jan. 22.

A clerk told police the man had a bandanna over his face and handed the clerk a note.

?Hay Bro r Sis I Don?t wont eny (expletive) just give me what I want AND you wont Get hert OK! Thank you,? the note read, according to police.

The clerk asked, ?What is this?? and the man said, ?Just do it,? according to the police affidavit.

The clerk called over another to open the till and set it on the counter. But it only contained $24.56, according to a store report cited in the affidavit.

?At that point, the suspect became emotional and told the clerk he just needed to feed his wife and kids and that he didn?t have any money,? the affidavit says.

The clerk offered to make a pizza, and the man ? who gave his name at the time as ?James? ? accepted.

The man told clerks he had applied for a job at Papa John?s but wasn?t hired, according to the affidavit.

While waiting, the man dropped a large note out of his coat, police said.

He left on foot with a large pepperoni pizza, a basket of hot wings and a 20-ounce Pepsi, according to the affidavit.

Later, police heard Lacey had admitted to his role in the incident, and a clerk picked him out of a lineup, according to the affidavit.

He admitted to the robbery, telling police he needed money to buy food, according to the affidavit.

He remains in Lewis and Clark County jail with bail set at $25,000. :s

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