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Police: Early-morning shoplifting attempt turned to robbery - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Police: Early-morning shoplifting attempt turned to robbery

Surveillance image (Source: Charleston Police) Surveillance image (Source: Charleston Police)
Surveillance image (Source: Charleston Police) Surveillance image (Source: Charleston Police)
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

Charleston police are searching for a man accused of pulling a knife on a store employee who said she caught him trying to leave without paying for a magazine.

Police responded to convenience store in the 1900-block of Clements Ferry Road at approximately 3:57 a.m. Thursday after what allegedly started as a shoplifting turned into a robbery, according Charleston Police spokesman Charles Francis.

The clerk told police the man entered the store, stood at the counter and was trying to put a magazine in his backpack. The clerk said she asked if he was going to pay for that and the man said, "I thought it was free," according to the incident report.

The store employee told him it was not free and said he needed to leave the store, the report states. The employee told police he then asked if he could purchase cigars and pulled out a pocket knife but then turned and left the store.

The employee said she called police, but then said the man saw her on the phone and came back into the store with the knife still in his hand and attempted to walk behind the counter, but then again turned and left the store.

The incident report states two magazines were taken.

The man is 5'7", weighs between 160 and 170 pounds and has a full beard. Police say he was seen riding away on a bicycle after leaving the store.

Anyone with information on the man's identity is asked to call Charleston Police at (843) 724-7200 or Crime Stoppers at (843) 554-1111.

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