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Clerks pepper-sprayed in downtown store robbery

Two clerks at a downtown gas station were pepper-sprayed by a robber who made off with at least $550 Sunday morning, Central District police reported.

The workers at the Valero station, 51 Broadway near Oak Street, said a man entered the convenience store shortly before 10:30 a.m. and sprayed them in the face before demanding cash. A female clerk placed a cash register drawer on the counter. The robber scooped out the cash, but that didn’t satisfy him. He was quoted as saying, “Give me more money. I have a gun. Don’t make me use it.”

The workers then placed a coin box on the counter, and the robber grabbed about $400 in cash and $100 to $150 in rolled coins before fleeing on foot.

One of the workers followed him through the local level of a nearby parking ramp, where the robber dropped a roll of quarters and threw away his pepper spray container, police reported.