Teens steal from store when clerk collapses from heart attack

Teens steal from store after clerk collapses from heart attack

AUBURN, WA (KOMO/CNN) - Police want to find the young thieves who left a gas station clerk for dead when he collapsed in the store.

With the clerk lying on the floor, they took money and items and ran away.

Store manager Angela Sharapova said it disgusts her to watch surveillance footage of the confrontation Saturday. Her employee has been hospitalized, suffering from a heart attack.

Auburn police said the clerk tried to charge a man for a couple of pepperoni sticks that two teens were eating near the counter, and they got into an argument.

Then one of the teens handed the clerk a dollar, causing him to get upset. Video shows the clerk walk around the counter to confront the teens.

"He was saying 'This is wrong, and you have to pay for it,'" Sharapova said. "And at this point, he took a few steps back to go behind the counter. And that's when he collapsed."

Instead of calling for help, police said one of the teens took the dollar back from the clerk then left with the other two. The teens return a couple of times to steal cigarettes and $178 from the cash register.

"Their actions could cost somebody their life," Sharapova said. "What they should have done is just call 911."

Several minutes passed before another customer came in to find the clerk on the ground. He started performing CPR as another customer called for help.

In all of the commotion, Sharapova said she and her employees never got the names of the good Samaritans who stepped in to help the clerk. She said he has a fighting chance because of their action.

The clerk has worked for her for about three years, Sharapova said. He has a wife and three children, including an 8-month-old boy.

Co-workers are now trying to set up a fundraising page to help with his mounting medical bills.

"It just breaks our hearts. Now this guy is fighting for his life," Sharapova said.

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