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Police: Stickup turns into prayer session

/ Source: The Associated Press

Indianapolis police say a gunman spent nearly 10 minutes on his knees praying with the clerk at a check cashing business before fleeing with her cell phone and $20 from the register.

Security video from the Advance America branch clearly showed the man's face during Monday's stickup, and a 23-year-old man surrendered Tuesday on a preliminary charge of robbery.

According to the clerk, the robbery took an unusual turn after the gunman came around the counter as she began crying and then talked about God.

"She started talking about God to him and basically, I think he broke down," said Lt. Jeff Duhamell.

The man said he had a 2-year-old child to support and asked for prayers about overcoming his hardships.

The suspect then asked the woman to pray with him. She later told a 911 dispatcher that he even unloaded the gun and gave her the bullet.

Sgt. Kevin Wethington says the clerk's actions "certainly didn't hurt" in preventing more troubles.

"I've never seen like this on a case I've investigated," Wethington, said, "especially one where the robber reaches out to hug the victim and then the victim later on hugs the suspect."