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News Release

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Media Relations

Who is the Penny-Pincher Bandit? NR17355pv

Canoga Park: Los Angeles detectives have released video of a man who committed an armed robbery at a gas station, taking over $800 in cash and cigarettes.

"We noticed the guy stole one thing, even before he pulled the gun," explained Det. Fernando Avila, robbery investigator at the Topanga Police Station. "You can see him reach into the take-a-penny-leave-a-penny tray when the clerk turns to retrieve the packs of cigarettes the robber feigned to buy. When we catch this guy, I'm going to let him know how unlucky those pennies were!"

The robbery took place just before midnight, November 25, 2017, when the male Hispanic walked into the store alone, wearing a black Monster hoodie.He displays money and feigns buying cigarettes to distract the clerk, then pulls the gun.

"The clerk's reaction matched my first reaction to the video: I really thought he was going to shoot the clerk," Det. Avila said. "This is top quality video, and anyone who knows this man is sure to recognize him." The weapon appears to be a black semi-auto handgun, which the suspect kept in his waistband. The Penny Pincher demands all the money in the cash register, and he is not satisfied until the clerk gathers several wads of money. The robber does not forget to take the cigarettes he ordered either.

The suspect is in his 40s and has a shaved head and a goatee. His left ear is pierced as he was wearing an earring.

Anyone with information in this case is urged to call Det. Fernando Avila, Topanga Detective Division, at (818) 756-3520. Anonymous tips can be called into crimestoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477), or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters "LAPD." Tipsters may also visit, and click on "Anonymous Web Tips" under the "Get Involved-Crime Stoppers" menu to submit an online tip. Lastly, tipsters may also download the "P3 Tips" mobile application and select the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.

Detective Avila is available for interviews at Topanga Police Station until 4 PM. Video is available at the police station by shooting off the screen.