Gas Station Clerk Brandishes Metal Bar, Asks Robber: ‘Is This What You Want?’

(CBS) — He’s charged with holding store clerks at knifepoint and robbing them of cash and other items.

Police say the man went to four neighborhoods, all in one day: Portage Park, Belmont Heights, Galewood and Oriole Park.

A store clerk at one of those locations put up a fight, CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reports.

James Chasen, 32, was captured on gas station surveillance video Wednesday. This image was taped, right before Chasen was shown this metal bar by clerk Alberto Patt. Patt says he wasn’t spooked by the fact that the suspect had two knives.

“I just showed him (the metal bar). I said, ‘Is this what you want?’” Patt says. “Apparently, he got scared. I took off after him, and he ran away.”

Chasen is charged with armed robbery and attempted armed robbery in connection with incidents at three Northwest Side 7 Elevens and a Shell station. Police say Chasen would pull two knives on clerks and demand money, a lottery ticket or cigarettes.

“He had a bag, and I don’t know what he had in the bag. He could have had a gun in the bag so; that’s why I reacted the way I did. I just went into defense mode,” Patt says.

Police were alerted while Chasen came to his fourth location on Wednesday night. He was caught in the act by police at a Galewood 7 Eleven.  In at least two robberies, he had an accomplice waiting for him in a red SUV.

A 28-year-old woman was also taken into custody. Charges are pending against her.

Chasen is a convicted felon with a previous conviction for robbery.


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