DENVER (CBS4) – Denver police are searching for a man they say robbed a cupcake store armed with a syringe.
The robbery happened at Gigi’s Cupcakes at 550 Grant Street. The thief got away with a small amount of cash.
The shop owner describes the robbery as “creepy” because the syringe that was used to threaten the clerk was said to be filled with “AIDS-infected” blood.
According to clerk Kendra Jackson, the suspect pulled out the syringe and threatened to stick a patron if another clerk didn’t comply with his demands.
“He had a syringe that he said was filled with blood that had been infected with AIDS and he said he was going to stick her if he didn’t open up the cash registers,” Jackson said.
The clerk quickly turned over about $300. Nobody got hurt, but employees were clearly shaken, according to Gigi’s owner Carrie Bach.
“I think that really intimidated my staff,” Bach said.
Jackson had just gone on break and was standing outside Gigi’s when she saw the bandit escape.
“I saw a man cross the street and he almost got hit by a car and he had no reaction. He had his hands in pockets, hood on his head,” Jackson said.
She shared her description with the first police units on scene. They scoured the neighborhood but failed to find the needle-wielding bandit.
The same man had been seen panhandling in front of the store just minutes before he robbed the place. Bach claims panhandling and drug dealing are a growing problem in her neighborhood and it’s not being addressed.
“I would say the cops have been supportive but they have also been clear that when it comes to crime there are priorities and panhandling and drug dealing is not a priority,” Bach said.
Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson said panhandling is legal in Denver and he said the rights of all citizens are respected by the police. At the same time Jackson said, “We don’t’ want people to feel their quality of life is being threatened by aggressive panhandling.”
Aggressive panhandling is against the law in Denver.
“Fighting all crime is a priority for Denver police,” Jackson said.
Panhandlers continue to cause problems around the store. Since the robbery police had been called three other times.