The first time he came in he was 38 cents too short to buy the 52 cent noodles he brought to the counter at Canseco’s Market, so the cashier reached into her own pocket to help him out.
About ten minutes later the same man returned, only this time, he told the cashier he had a gun and instructed her to hand over everything in the till.
Canseco’s owner Sinesio Canseco recounted the incident Wednesday morning in an interview with Mid-City Messenger.
Canseco said a man entered his Esplanade Avenue store just after 9 p.m. on Tuesday night and tried to buy Ramen noodles but only had 14 cents on his electronic benefit transfer card. Canseco’s cashier paid the balance out of her own pocket, he said.
Canseco thinks that transaction may have enabled the man to get a look at the amount of money in the cash register.
“He came back in about ten minutes later,” said Canseco, recounting what his cashier had told him. “He pointed down to his pocket like I have a gun, give me all your money or I’m going to kill you. And I don’t want to kill you, so give me the money.”
So his cashier gave him the money, Canseco said. Though he did not want to say how much money was taken.
Canseco said the man told his cashier to lay on the floor until he left. She did.
Shortly after that is when Tara Jill, a Maurepas Street resident, walked into the store.
“She was sitting on the floor and said something kind of quiet,” Jill said, recounting the incident on Wednesday morning.
“She said ‘we’ve been robbed’,” Jill said and then the cashier told them to “just keep shopping.”
Jill said she and her fiancé stayed in the store for awhile, not wanting to leave if the robber was outside.
“It was just really scary,” Jill said.
Canseco said his store has surveillance cameras and thinks they captured the suspect’s image. New Orleans Police did not immediately respond to an inquiry from Mid-City Messenger Wednesday morning.
“I told my cashier she did the right thing,” Canseco said.
“We’ve been here for six, seven years and we’ve never had any issues,” he said. “Hopefully we can catch him.”