Gentleman's Beer Run: Mesa Robbery a Casual Affair for Curious Criminal

If only all robberies were this easy.

A guy walked into the Circle K at University and Dobson early this morning at about 3 a.m. and chatted up the clerk on the subject of Arizona's 2 a.m. alcohol cut-off time. The clerk told the dude -- a 6-foot-tall black man wearing a black hoodie and an ASU cap -- that the coolers were all locked and it was too late to sell beer, say Mesa police.

The perceptive visitor then pointed to a floor display of beer and asked if the clerk would chase him if he simply walked out with some.

"The clerk said no. The suspect took two cases of beer and left," says a news release by officer Michael Melendez.

This is the where the incident got a bit uglier: On his way out, the suspect then told the clerk he had a knife but "didn't want to stab the clerk," says Melendez's write-up. He asked the clerk to wait five minutes to call police, and the clerk waited for five minutes as requested.

We can only dream this is the start of a kinder, gentler crime wave.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.

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