Thug robs liqupr store--with hammer


By David Avitabile

Police are investigating yet another theft after a man wielding a hammer stole a cash register from Elroy's Liquor Store in Richmondville last Tuesday.
The Schoharie County Sheriff's office is seeking information about a masked man who entered the liquor store on Main Street at 6:47pm and demanded the cash register from the clerk.
The clerk complied and the man, who was dressed all in black and wearing a ski mask, ran off heading east when he left the store, said police and the clerk.
Police have no suspects but have conducted several interviews, Sheriff Tony Desmond said.
"There are a couple of names being kicked around, but nothing concrete," Sheriff Desmond said Friday.
The armed robbery comes shortly after at least eight businesses were broken into shortly after Thanksgiving in Schoharie, Middleburgh and Cobleskill. Thieves got more than $11,000 in cash and merchandise from those thefts.
While no one was at those businesses, police received a call about a robbery in progress at Elroy's Liquor in Richmondville last Tuesday.
Upon investigating, police learned the white man was roughly five-feet seven-inches tall, about 150 pounds with a slim build.
After taking Wednesday off, the clerk, who just asked to be identified as Jean, was back at work Thursday in her usual shift.
She said that she knew something was wrong as soon as the man walked into the store last Tuesday.
"I sort of figured something was wrong," she said.
The man said, "Open the register, open the God-d... register."
He grabbed the register and fled on foot.
"He was intent on the register. He wanted the money from the register," she said.
The clerk said she did her best to stay away from the robber and his hammer but there was little else she could do. There was no way to escape.
"If I had a gun with a permit things would have been different, in a heartbeat," she said.
The clerk said the man took an undetermined amount of money.
"Thank God most of the day's receipts were credit cards," she said, which meant less cash was in the register.
After the man fled the store, he ran east, toward the direction of Cobleskill but the woman was not sure if he ran down Route 7 or just headed toward the back of the store.
She immediately called 911 and "locked myself in."
The police responded within minutes, she said.
Though she was shaken up by the robbery, there was "no question she was coming back," she said.
"I have no reservations coming back," she said. "I don't live my life in fear. That's why I'm back on my night shift."
She did need at least a day off to settle down, she said.
"I don't know how long it felt like I was in hell."
This was the first time she ever experienced a robbery at the store. She said she has been in touch with her boss several times and changes may be made. But for Thursday, she was back to her old routines but using a metal cash box instead of a register to collect cash and make change.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Sheriff's office at 295-8114.