Iowa Clerk Gets Upper Hand in Robbery

A would-be thief in Fort Dodge, Iowa, thought he’d found a soft target in Discount Textbooks. Instead he got schooled. When the assailant pulled a can of mace on 22-year-old Jessica McDonald, a clerk at the store, McDonald pulled a .40 pistol.

Just as rock beats scissors, pistol beats mace. Especially a Springfield Armory XD in .40 S&W. The out-gunned assailant, recognizing his predicament, fled on a black bicycle, with McDonald giving chase.

There are several aspects of this incident that are worthy of note. The first, of course, is the positive outcome. For McDonald, the situation ended well. She defended herself with a firearm without ever firing a shot. This is exactly the sort of occurrence the gun grabbers claim never happens. Yet it did. “It was shocking to me when I started here that there is a gun, and I always thought it was over the top and we didn’t need it,” McDonald told KCCI News 8, “but I’m very glad that we have it,” she said.

This is what the robber saw after threatening McDonald with mace.

This is what the robber saw after threatening McDonald with mace.

It wasn’t her gun. That’s interesting, too. The pistol, according to store manager Paul Tigges, had been placed in the safe under the counter for the protection of all of the store’s employees.

And it was useful. When the unidentified man entered the textbook store and approached the counter, he feigned a coughing spell and covered his face with a bandana. He then brandished a can of mace.  “We were face to face, and then he, like, put the mace right in my face and said, ‘Give me all the money out of your register,’” McDonald said. As the store had just opened, there wasn’t any cash in the till. The last point, and probably the most important, is what happened next. McDonald didn’t panic. The phone rang, which was all the distraction she needed, and McDonald moved to answer it. As she did, she pulled the gun from the safe and took control of the situation.

“I feel comfortable now using it [the gun], but I always said I never thought I would,” McDonald said. And it worked. As McDonald instructed the person on the phone to call 911, she backed away from the counter. The robber ran, and McDonald chased him into the parking lot. That last bit may have been ill-advised, but it worked for McDonald.

“Anything could happen had we not had that firearm in that store and she did not have access to it,” Tigges told KCCI. “We’ll never know what might have happened.” True enough. And it will likely happen again, to someone else, after the robber changes his tactics (and his pants). Police are still looking for the culprit. He’s thought to be in his mid-to-late 50s, about 5’5″ tall. He has grey facial hair, and may flinch at the sight of small-framed blonde women.

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Notso May 23, 2016, 3:23 pm

    Based on the photograph of (I assume) McDonald holding the XD, she has had little or no handgun training. It is good that she had the weapon, but was she prepared and knowledgeable on how to use it?

  • Bill June 2, 2014, 1:18 pm

    Remember Dirty Harry? Scorpio needs a gun. He goes to a store that had been robbed, and where the storekeeper prevailed on the robber with his behind-the-counter gun. Scorpio promptly takes the gun away from the storekeeper. Now, in real life, everyone knows there is a gun behind the counter of this textbook store. They know the type of gun, and where it is hidden. Not good. As Fred Thompson said during one of the presidential candidate debates, yes, I have guns, and no, I’m not going to tell you what I have or where they are.

  • Will Boyd May 29, 2014, 6:02 pm

    Judging by the into provided, the perp was no doubt a college student. (it’s a college textbook store) Only college students hold up textbook stores.

    • Dennis Siegler June 2, 2014, 8:04 am

      The guy needs some more ED-U-MA-KA-TION! LOL

    • Sid Sherman May 23, 2016, 6:57 am

      55 is a bit old for a college student, but saying I was about 55 when I finished my Masters. Still I kind of doubt it was a student. Maybe it was one them liberal professors we always hear about…

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