Fake gun doesn't fool store clerk

MEDFORD — A clerk at a Medford Payless Shoe Store familiar with guns thwarted a robbery attempt Tuesday night when she recognized a fake weapon and told the robber to leave, Medford police said Wednesday.

A woman wearing a dark sweatshirt with the hood pulled over her head entered the store in the Bear Creek Plaza, 930 Biddle Road, at about 7:10 p.m. and asked the clerk for change. Once the drawer was open, the hooded woman pulled out a gun and demanded money.

The clerk believed the gun to be fake and asked the woman to leave, which she did, said Detective Sgt. Mike Budreau.

The woman left on foot, Medford police said.

"There is a possibility that the gun was real," said Budreau.

Police said the hooded woman was described as a white female in her 20s, weighing about 160 pounds. In addition to the sweatshirt, she was wearing black sweatpants, black shoes with pink stripes, blue gloves and large sunglasses.

A manager reached at the Payless store declined to comment, referring calls to corporate headquarters. Calls there were not returned Wednesday.

"It is pretty unusual to have a robbery with a female," Budreau said. "We haven't had any other robberies occur with women in the last year."

It appears to be an isolated incident, Budreau said.

"It's a business that is not normally a target," Budreau said. "That's what's surprising to us."

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