Sunday, September 24, 2023 Sep 24, 2023
96° F Dallas, TX

Crook Turns Clerk In 7-Eleven Heist

By Skip Hollandsworth |

Robert Mack has seen a lot in his fourteen years as a 7-Eleven clerk. He runs into “just about every type of person there is. They all eventually come into a 7-Eleven,”

But nothing could have prepared Mack for the year’s most unusual burglar. Last December. Mack was hap-pily working his midnight-to-7 a.m. shift at a store in Southwest Arlington when a man entered. It was about 2:40 in the morning. Now Mack is a pleasant fellow. The man ordered Mack into the back storeroom, where he tied him to a chair and then blindfolded him and ordered him to be quiet.

Mack waited, thinking the man would be gone in a few seconds after clearing out the money. But then he heard the store’s buzzer go off, indicating a customer was entering. And then he heard the robber say, “A carton of cigarettes? Let me ring that up for you.”

Mack was dumbfounded. In came another customer and the robber, who according to later police reports had donned a 7-Eleven smock, rang up a six-pack of Coke. Then he rang up a Big Gulp for someone else. Mack listened closely. Did the robber actually say to that last customer, “Have a nice day?”

For an hour and twenty minutes, according to Mack’s calculations, the robber, who was in his early twenties and weighed about 160 pounds, worked as a clerk. None of the customers complained. The man gave correct change and acted like any other 7-Eleven clerk, which made police wonder if the man had, at some point in his past, been a 7-Eleven clerk himself.

When the robber left at 4 a.m.. Mack, still tied in his chair, kicked the storeroom door open, hopped in his chair down an aisle (“knocking over items left and right,” he says dramatically), then struggled into the 7-Eleven parking lot. There he waited, forlornly, the good 7-Eleven clerk, hoping someone might drive by in the middle of the night and take pity on him. “Twenty damn minutes later,” Mack recalls, “somebody finally showed up.” The motorist got a knife from the store and freed Mack, who then called police from a nearby pay phone. He couldn’t use the regular store phone because the robber had torn the cord out of the wall. When police arrived, Mack was shaken but unbowed. “Something like that isn’t going to make me stop working. You have to admit, this is a real interesting job.” The thief, incidentally, got away with $150 from the cash register and has yet to be caught. He also ran off with his 7-Eleven smock, so no telling where you might see him next.

Related Articles



By Ruth Miller Fitzgibbons