VIDEO: 'Penny-pincher' bandit wanted by LAPD for armed robbery

Authorities sought the public's help today in identifying an armed robbery suspect who held up a gas station in Canoga Park.

Detectives released a video Wednesday of the armed robbery, in which more than $800 in cash and cigarettes were taken.

"We noticed the guy stole one thing, even before he pulled the gun," said Det. Fernando Avila, a robbery investigator at the Los Angeles Police Department's Topanga Station. "You can see him reach into the take-a-penny-leave-a-penny tray when the clerk turns to retrieve the packs of cigarettes the robber feigned to buy.

When we catch this guy, I'm going to let him know how unlucky those pennies were."

The robbery took place just before midnight, Saturday, when the suspect walked into the store alone, wearing a black Monster hoodie, Avila said.

"He displays money and feigns buying cigarettes to distract the clerk, then pulls the gun," Avila said. "...This is top quality video and anyone who knows this man is sure to recognize him."

The weapon appears to be a black semi-automatic handgun, which the suspect kept in his waistband, Avila said.

"The penny pincher demands all the money in the cash register and he is not satisfied until the clerk gathers several wads of money," Avila said. "The robber does not forget to take the cigarettes he ordered either."

The suspect is described as Hispanic, in his 40s, with a shaved head and a goatee. His left ear is pierced, and he wore an earring, Avila said.

Anyone with information about the robbery was urged to call Avila at (818) 756-3520.

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