Victim thanked by armed robber

Published 10:16 am Friday, March 11, 2011

FRANKLIN—After holding up a Tidewater News employee at gunpoint Wednesday, the robber thanked the victim for his cooperation.

“I said ‘thank you’ (for not shooting me), and he bolted toward the bushes and went toward Armory Drive,” said victim Ryan Outlaw.

Franklin Police Lt. Kenneth Barham said police had no suspects as of Thursday. The alleged robber was described as wearing a handkerchief over his face.

A tracking dog led police to an area of interest, but Barham did not want to elaborate since the investigation is continuing.

A graphic designer who was working after hours at The Tidewater News, Outlaw said he heard what sounded like a knock at the newspaper’s side door before 8 p.m. Then he heard what sounded like a brick that was thrown at the building. The 26-year-old assumed someone was trying to break in.

“I looked for a flashlight and gathered my thoughts,” he said. “I was going to go out the front door, but my key wouldn’t work.”

When Outlaw walked out the side door, he was met by a man pointing a gun at him.

“He asked me if I had any money. I told him ‘yes,’” Outlaw said. “Then there was a pause. I asked him ‘What do you want me to do?’”

The gunman asked Outlaw to sit on the ground. He gave the robber $28 and his wallet, which included a debit card.

“Then he asked if I had a MP3 player,” Outlaw said.

He was amazed at how calm the robber remained.

“It was like it wasn’t the first time he was doing this,” Outlaw said. “He wasn’t yelling or screaming or anything. It seemed like he just wanted money.”