Valdosta, Georgia- July 25, 2012
A store manager and a would-be robber, one of which was armed.....Can you guess which one?
A stick is not a gun. Reginald Maxwell learned that the hard way when he tried to rob a local seafood store with one just like it. And although it's not lethal, he's still facing a serious penalty.
55-year-old Reginald Maxwell walked into the Bubba Jax Seafood store around 7:30 Tuesday evening. He approached manager Chris Sumner and demanded all the money in the register.
The threat was made all too real when Maxwell presented what appeared to be a handgun under his shirt.
Says Aaron Kirk, of the Valdosta Police Department: "The manager, who happened to have a concealed carry permit, pulled his weapon and ordered the person to show him his hands. At that time the person revealed that it was just a stick under his shirt and tried to act like he was just playing around."
Maxwell ran from the store. He was picked up a short distance away by the cops and is now facing serious jail time.
"If you give the impression you have a weapon and the victim believes you have a weapon, it doesn't matter if you have one or not. You can still be charged with armed robbery" says Kirk.
That's exactly the charge he's facing.
Says Valdosta resident, Suzanne Roberts: "I do believe it's appropriate to be charged with armed robbery if you have, pretend to have a gun."
Says another resident, Bryan Hanks: "I think he should be charged with a crime, maybe attempted robbery but not armed robbery because he wasn't armed."
We also spoke with the store manager. He did not want to go on camera, but told us: "We are honest people trying to make an honest living and make it home safe to our families."
Maxwell was taken to the Lowndes County Jail. At last check he is still being held there.