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Clerks repel armed robbery attempt at reservation smoke shop

Two suspects armed with a rifle got more than they wanted Friday when they attempted to rob the Smoke Rings smoke shop on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation. They ended up fleeing empty-handed after two store clerks tried to overpower them, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office reported.

A clerk told authorities a male and female, both wearing camouflage clothing and the male wearing a bandana over his face and a red wig, demanded cash, ordered the clerk into a back office and bound his hands with nylon zip ties, sheriff’s deputies said. He broke free and called 911 around 2:50 p.m. Meanwhile a second clerk, who had gone unnoticed by the suspects, began to fight with them, with the first clerk joining in to help him after calling police, according to the sheriff’s report.

The female suspect fled on foot on Shanks Road. The male suspect hit one of the clerks with the rifle, causing a cut that required stitches, and escaped through an office window. Nothing was taken from the store, sheriff’s deputies said.