Beating by proprietor prompted suspect to drop cash register, run off, police said.
An 89-year-old store owner in Washington state used a golf club to beat off a suspected robber who wielded a sword, prompting the suspect to drop the stolen cash register as he made away on a bicycle, according to police and published reports.
Police in the 21,000-population city of Moses Lake say owner Miyo Koba was inside Frank's Superette on Sunday morning when a tall, slender male wearing a ski mask and dark glasses swooped in. Koba has owned the store in this community between Seattle and Spokane for 60 years, and kept it up even after her husband died, police said. Her store is popular among local high school students and is a block and a half from the school, police said.
When Koba found the suspect standing behind the cash register Sunday, she set about a campaign of aggression. Police describe Koba as a small woman who weighs no more than 125 pounds.
"I had the scissors in my hand like this, and he was trying to open the till, and he said, 'Open the till!'" Koba said, giving KREM-TV/Spokane, blow-by-blow details. "I said, 'No, I'm not going to open the till for you,' and I said, 'If you don't get your hands off the till, I'm going to stab you with my scissors.'"
Koba admitted she didn't have the nerve to stab the suspect, but her tactics apparently had an effect. The suspect became unnerved when Koba would not open the register, Koba told KREM.
"He started pounding on the register trying to open it," Koba said.
"He pulled out his little sword out of his little jacket, and he just kind of waved it a little bit," she told KREM. Police said the "little" sword was 3-feet-long.
The suspect pushed Koba, and she fell, spotting the golf club, she said.
"I … tried to swing this club at him, and I tried to hit his head a couple of times, but I couldn't reach it," Koba told the news organization.
No matter. She went for his legs, swinging and hitting them.
The man escaped on a bicycle, cash register and sword in hand, according to KREM, but police said Koba later recovered the register nearby with the money still in it.
The man apparently stripped after he left the store because police later found his clothing, according to KREM.
Police said they are continuing the investigation.
Koba said the would-be robber with the "little" sword never fazed her.
"I didn't feel threatened," she told KREM. "It just probably made me a little more brave."