Police are searching for a man who wore a unique costume during an attempted robbery of a Rancho Penasquitos-area 7-Eleven store.
Images:Man Wearing 'Gumby' Costume Attempts To Rob Store
The bizarre robbery attempt happened just after midnight on Labor Day, when a man dressed as TV character "Gumby" entered the store on Carmel Mountain Road with another man and approached the clerk behind the counter.
Initially, the man in the Gumby costume asked for a pack of cigarettes but then told the clerk, "This is a robbery."
The clerk thought it was a joke and told the man dressed as Gumby, "Come on man, dont waste my time. I have things to do."
The Gumby impersonator responded that he had a gun and then began fumbling with his costume as if he was trying to pull it out.
The entire incident was caught on the store's surveillance cameras.
"Yeah, it's hilarious to look at it on the video," said San Diego police Detective Gary Hassen. "But, it is a very serious crime and we take it very seriously."
Hassen kept a straight face while explaining that wearing a Gumby costume is no different than any other disguise worn by potential robbers.
"It could have been a ski mask. It could have been a bandana. It could have been a hoodie. It just happens to be a Gumby costume," said Hassen.
Because the robbery attempt was so bizarre, the clerk did not call police. He was seen on video leaning down to pick up the $0.27 the Gumby impersonator dropped while fumbling inside his costume. Later Monday morning, the clerk's boss saw the surveillance video and called police.
The clerk said he had never even heard of Gumby until he was almost robbed by a man dressed as him. He told his boss the costume looked something like a green version of the TV cartoon character "SpongeBob SquarePants."
10News contacted several costume shops in San Diego and the only place with a Gumby costume was the Buffalo Breath Costume Company, which received Gumby costumes on Tuesday.
Police believe the key to finding the man dressed as Gumby may be identifying his accomplice, whose face is clearly seen on the video. Although the man entered the store with the Gumby impersonator, as the robbery progressed, he retreated to an older-model white or light-colored minivan in the parking lot.
The clerk said he honked the horn until the man in the Gumby costume climbed in the van and they drove away.
A reward of up to $1,000 is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of the man in the Gumby costume and his accomplice.
Anyone with any information is asked to call San Diego Police at (619) 531-2000.
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