The Mount Maunganui shopkeeper who was robbed of a $2 mince pie by a homeless man, amid a bomb threat, says he would forgive the offender if he came back and apologised to him.
Speaking to the Bay of Plenty Times yesterday, the 20-year-old victim, who did not want to be named, said the robbery happened about 6.25pm on Wednesday while he was relieving in his parents' Park Minimart store on Maunganui Road.
He said the man, who claimed to have a bomb, "was obviously homeless and if he had asked me nicely I would have given him a pie".
The victim said he was working in the front part of the store and his mother, who was working in the back, did not realise what was happening.
The shirtless man, who was wearing black track pants, socks and black slippers, and had a shirt wrapped around his upper head, walked up to the counter, he said.
"He told me he was a homeless person and demanded I give him a pie. When I signalled I wasn't sure about doing that, he took the shirt off his head and immediately became aggressive and threatening," the victim said.
"I was standing near the pie warmer and he told me I could call the police but I needed to give him a pie as he had bomb in his bag," he said.
The alleged offender came into the store carrying a large disposable type clothing bag which was zipped up and probably contained his possessions, the victim said.
"I was scared at time as I did not know what he was going to do next. I tried to remain calm and not panic as I was taught in my previous job at a fast food restaurant.
"I was told not to be a hero and to follow the person's instructions and that advice stuck in my mind," he said.
"When I backed away to try to alert my mother the man wasn't too happy about that, and he pointed at the pie warmer and mumbled something," the victim said.
Once the alleged offender was given a $2 mince pie he wandered off down the road, sat in a bus stop nearby eating it, before he walked off to somewhere else, the victim said.
When I told my mother I was robbed she thought I was joking at first, he said.
The victim said when he reflected on the robbery, he was worried if reacted too much it could have aggravated the situation but he had a stick ready if the offender had lunged at him.
"He was obviously homeless and if he had asked me nicely I would have given him a pie, as we often give bits and pies to other needy customers," he said.
He believed the man was about 185cm tall and aged in his 40s.
The victim said this was first time something like this had happened to him, and he was a "little worried" something similar could happen again to someone else.
"But if the man comes back to store to apologise I would accept his apology because he is obviously homeless and was desperate for something to eat," he said.
Police would like to speak to the man pictured, in relation to the robbery of a dairy in Mt Maunganui last night.
If you know who he is, or have information which might help us locate him, please call Mt Maunganui Police on 07 575 3143.
Information can also be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.