Suspect holds knife to clerk's throat during robbery

6:33 AM, Apr 4, 2013   |    comments
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Suspect holds knife to throat of store clerk.
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  • DULUTH, Ga. -- Police are looking for a man who held a knife to a store clerk's throat while he threatened to kill her and rob the store. They released video of the robbery in hopes that someone will recognize the suspect.

    It happened Mar. 25 at the Fresh 2 Def clothing store on Pleasant Hill Road in Duluth. While store clerk Linda Yoo was helping a customer with clothing, he pulled a knife out and held it to her throat.

    "It was described as having brass knuckles around the handle and the blade was curved with serration," Gwinnett County Police Cpl. Jake Smith said of the suspect's weapon.

    The suspect, described as between 15 and 20 years old, grabbed Yoo with his left hand, pulled the knife up to her throat and forced her to the back of the store.

    Store manager Michelle Coffey was in the back when the suspect forced Yoo face down to the floor. He kept the knife at her throat for over four minutes while Coffey tried to distract him.

    "He was like, 'if you try anything I'm gonna cut her throat'," she said. He just kept saying that over and over, 'I'm gonna cut her throat, I'm gonna cut her throat.'"

    Coffey said she offered the suspect all the cash out of the register. A couple of times customers tried to come into the store, but she turned them away silently mouthing to them to "call 911."

    Coffey thinks the customers made the suspect nervous and he eventually left the store.

    "Beyond a shadow of a doubt I feel that if they hadn't came in, I probably wouldn't be talking to you," she said.

    The suspect was so nervous, he never took the cash. But police said he did leave something behind that may doom him.

    "When he lunged at her and grabbed her around the neck with his left arm we think he actually nicked himself (with the knife) and we were able to recover a small amount of blood," Cpl. Smith said.

    Coffey said she has owned Fresh 2 Def for two years and no one has ever tried to rob her. "We've taken preventative measures to ensure the safety of ourselves as well as our customers," she said.

    Police are asking anyone with information about the robbery or the suspect to call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS(8477).

    You can follow Kevin on Twitter @kgrowson

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