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Wichita Robbery Attempt

Claim:   E-mail describes an attempted robbery at a Wichita, Kansas, convenience store.

PARTLY TRUE

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, January 2008]

Please be extra careful as you are out doing errands, getting gas, etc. This happened Tuesday, Jan. 22nd.



I would like to relate what happened to me last night so that all, especially females can be aware of what has happened at several QuikTrips in the past week. I was at the QT at Maize and Kellogg at 7:10pm. After I filled my car with gas and was locking my door to go into the store to buy a drink, I was approached by two men, one in front of me and one in back of me, demanding money. I said I had none. At that point the man in front grabbed my arms, insulted me and grabbed my keys from my hand. Thank the Lord the clerks in the store noticed something wrong and called the police. At the same time a man in a truck entered the gas pump next to me. He was very cognizant of what was happening and asked me if I needed help. This scared off the two men. They took off with my keys still in hand. The man in the truck chased them and did get my keys after they were thrown down. When the police arrived I was told that this had happened several times in the past week. Others had their cars and purses stolen. I wanted to let you know what happened so you will be careful. Be aware of your surroundings and listen to your gut feelings. I kept telling myself to yell or run back into the store, but my body wouldn't respond. Be careful, be safe and thank God that I was lucky enough to get out of this situation."
 

Origins:   The
e-mail quoted above describes an incident that supposedly took place on 22 January 2008 at a QuikTrip (QT) gas station/convenience store in Wichita, Kansas. According to the e-mail, a female customer was accosted at the QT's gas pumps by two men who demanded money, grabbed her car keys, and presumably would have made off with her automobile had another customer not scared them off and chased them down. Police summoned to the scene allegedly stated that several similar incidents had taken place during the previous week.

The Wichita Police Department looked into the matter after someone forwarded them a copy of the message and found that no 911 calls from the named convenience store had been logged on the date in question, and clerks on duty at the store that evening were unaware of any such incident's having occurred there (on that date or any other). The Wichita Police, through additional investigation, located the woman who was the victim in the described incident, and they learned from her that although something similar to the account quoted above did take place, it was an unreported, isolated incident, and the e-mailed description of it was not written by her — it was a second-hand report created and mailed by someone else who incorporated some misunderstandings into it:
As a result of the investigating officer's interview with the woman who reported she was the victim in this incident, an incident report was initiated. As is standard procedure, the case was assigned to a detective for follow-up. As a result of that detective's investigation, we have since learned:

The woman, whose English is quite broken, was indeed approached by two men at the QuikTrip. A man in a pickup truck was able to chase the man who stole the woman's keys. Another man pulled up in a white car whom the woman mistakenly thought was a police officer and told her such events happen all the time. The woman then went home without reporting the incident. She relayed the information to another person who in turn created and sent the email which you received.
In short, an incident similar to the one described did take place, but convenience store robberies like this one are not known to be a commonplace occurrence in Wichita.

Last updated:   28 July 2011

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Sources:

    Finger, Stan.   "E-mail About Wichita Assault a Hoax, Police Say."
    The Wichita Eagle.   25 January 2008.