The man who attempted to rob a convenience store in Larnaca and was chased into school yard told the court he had a lot of gambling debts.
A remorseful 29-year-old male appeared before a judge in the Larnaca District Court on Friday, where he was remanded for four days in connection with a robbery attempt in Meneou as well as other charges including knife possession, inciting terror, and trespassing.
The man went to a convenience store Thursday morning and demanded money from the female cashier whose husband was also in the store. The suspect, armed with a kitchen knife, was demanding cash and started banging the 12-inch blade on the table.
“Money, money,” he screamed at the cashier.
At that point, he run into the track field but people kept running behind him until he was surrounded and finally had his knife taken away
According to the prosecutor, the woman panicked and yelled for help, prompting the would-be robber to flee the scene. But concerned citizens nearby went after the knife-wielding suspect, who had his face covered, and chased him to a public school where he climbed over the rail and entered in the yard.
At that point, he run into the track field but people kept running behind him until he was surrounded and finally had his knife taken away.
“Mother of Jesus, I’m sorry, I made a mistake,” he said.
The suspect was placed under citizen’s arrest until police officers arrived and handcuffed him. He then consented to a house search that did not yield any incriminating evidence according to Cyprus News Agency (CNA).
The suspect told the judge he attempted the robbery because he owed money to various individuals in connection with money he had gambled away. The prosecutor sought four days in custody with the judge agreeing to the request and ordering the suspect to be remanded through Monday.
The issue of school safety was a main topic of discussion last month, following a kidnapping that took place at a different Larnaca school. But police issued a statement on Thursday to clarify that the school was not a target or in any way associated with Thursday’s robbery.