The clerk at a Stanton gas station's first day on the job was marred by an armed robbery that police believe may be linked to a string of similar holdups in Orange County.
"I really never thought it would actually take place, you know, but unfortunately it did on my first actual day by myself on the job," the clerk said.
The latest robbery took place Monday night at a Shell station mini-mart on Katella Avenue.
"Kind of thought it was a joke at first," the clerk said.
The robber walked into the mini-mart, acted if he was going to buy a soda, then quickly changed his demeanor, the clerk said.
Once the new employee saw the robber's handgun, he did as he'd been trained to do.
"We train them, 'don't do anything wrong, don't be macho,'" said station owner Morry Robatian. "Money is replaceable, is not a problem."
Robatian had just left the gas station on a dinner break and was shocked to watch the robbery unfold on his cell phone, which is linked in to 32 surveillance cameras at the station.
Investigators believe the robber is part of an organized ring of suspects who wear the same type of black hoodie, lined in white or gray.
On Saturday, an AM/PM gas station mini-mart in Garden Grove was held up by a suspect wearing a similar hoodie. He was arrested.
The clerk who was held up at the Stanton station quit his job even though he needs money to pay back student loans and help his mother who's recovering from cancer.
He's now looking for another job.
"How am I supposed to survive?" he said. "You know it's hard right now, it really is."
But he said it's not worth going back to work at the gas station.
It's "not worth risking my life," he said.