Philadelphia police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a man who robbed a Rite Aid pharmacy in an apparent act of desperation.
The incident unfolded Jan. 3 when authorities say the man walked into the store on Ogontz Avenue around noon and demanded cash, according to ABC 6. This stickup was different, however.
The suspect started by perusing the store and grabbing a few items before heading to the cashier, police said. There he slipped the clerk a note that read, “Give me all the money. I’m sorry, I have a sick child. You have 15 seconds.”
The cashier complied, going into the register and putting money in a bag. The robber then fled the store with an undetermined amount cash.
Shopper Peachola Lamkin was shocked by news of the holdup, but less than sympathetic toward the suspect’s alleged motivation.
“If you’re desperate, you’ll do something desperate,” Lamkin told CBS Philadelphia, adding: “Just because you have a sick child, there’s no reason to rob a store.”
Philadelphia Police Capt. Sekou Kinebrew agreed, stating that while he understands “people have needs — that is just not the way to go about fulfilling those needs.”
“There may be some specialized services for this individual and his family that he could be in need of, too,” the top cop added. “Unfortunately, the only way at this point he may be able to get them, is if he comes in and sees us.”
If the suspect turns himself in, police said there may be resources available for his purported sick child.
In general, Medicaid covers almost all medical expenses for uninsured or underinsured children in Pennsylvania.
Authorities describe the man as 5-foot-10 African-American between 30 and 40 years old, with a thin build and a mustache and/or a goatee.
Surveillance video released by Philadelphia police shows the suspect never threatened a clerk with a weapon, and authorities said it’s unclear if he was armed.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact local police.
Watch more in the clip below.