Tuesday, September 13, 2011
He may have feet of clay, but the Gumby bandit decided to come clean today.
A young man who was dressed as the green animated character when he allegedly tried to rob a Rancho Penasquitos convenience store turned himself in this morning, according to San Diego police.
Jacob Kiss, 19, brought the full-body, slanty-headed costume with him when he arrived at downtown SDPD headquarters, Detective Gary Hassen said. Accompanying the suspect was an alleged cohort -- identified as Jason Giramma, also 19 -- who served as getaway driver following the failed Labor Day crime, according to Hassen.
Robbery investigators questioned Kiss and Giramma, took down their statements and confiscated the Gumby outfit before releasing the pair, Hassen said. Police will document evidence in the case before forwarding it to the District Attorney's Office for possible prosecution.
Shortly after midnight Sept. 5, a Gumby impersonator entered the 7-Eleven in the 9700 block of Carmel Mountain Road, waving his arms in the air.
The disguised person, who was accompanied by a young man in street clothes, confronted a clerk and announced, "This is a robbery," Hassen said.
Thinking the occupant in the jolly-looking costume was joking, the employee replied, "I have cleaning to do, and I don't have time for this," according to Hassen.
The man in the Gumby getup then claimed to have a gun and began struggling with the unwieldy suit, as if trying to retrieve a concealed weapon. Fumbling around for several moments, he only managed to drop 26 cents' worth of change, which he was unable to pick up from the floor.
His companion, meanwhile, had wandered out of the store and gotten into a white or silver minivan, which he pulled in front of the business, Hassen said. After the driver honked his horn a few times, the disguised would-be robber walked out and got into the vehicle, and the pair drove off.
The victim, still unconvinced an actual holdup attempt had occurred, did not report it. A manager who arrived for his work shift about 6 a.m., however, decided to call the police.
Widely broadcast surveillance video soon made the crime a national "weird news" punch line, featured on CNN, "the Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and other network and cable TV shows.