By Max Fontaine | Hard news after-dusk reporter
Layte-Nite Gas ‘n’ Beer Party Shop was again the target of an armed robbery, this one occurring late Wednesday out on Out-on-the-Highway Road, where the business is located.
A man wearing a ski-mask entered the facility, wielding a registered handgun. He demanded money, lottery tickets and “a free damn cup of your delicious coffee,” the clerk told Bass Lake Authority Police.
Surveillance footage shows the man pistol-whipping a chewing-gum display, “probably as an act of intimidation,” police said. Video evidence prior to that is mysteriously missing, said assistant district prosecutor Nixon M. Richards.
The clerk gave the man an undisclosed amount of cash, but refused his request for lottery tickets, since that is prohibited by law.
The robber left the store, fleeing on foot. Authorities were unable to track him, due to a work-shift change.
Police said he is male, sounds like he’s white, stands about 5-9 and weighs in excess of 200 pounds. He was last seen wearing a ski-mask.
It’s the third robbery in twice as many months at the party shop. Prior incidents occurred in December and January, leading to this award-winning editorial by the Beacon’s own Jackson Frolic.
The rash of robberies suggests a pattern, said BLAP bicycle officer Tug McNabb, who was standing near the scene not long after the theft.
“It’s obviously the perfect business to target,” McNabb gushed, holding a Styrofoam cup.
Chiou Yueh, Bass Lake Authority Police Chief and CEO, was unavailable for comment. He is on leave, as an official member of the planning committee for the town’s inaugural “Dragon Boat Festival Fest,” scheduled for June 20.