Gumby flees
Would-be robber Gumby flees to the waiting getaway van. Image: Looking Glass/Flickr/CC BY-SA

A man wearing a head-to-toe Gumby costume tried to rob a 7-Eleven convenience store in San Diego early Monday morning. He told the clerk he had a weapon, but the clerk thought it was a joke. Gumby fumbled for the alleged gun, dropped some change, and fled empty-handed with an accomplice.

Gumby asked for a pack of cigarettes

The incident occurred just after midnight Monday at a 7-Eleven store in Rancho Penasquitos, a community just north of San Diego, Calif. The man in the Gumby suit approached the clerk and asked for a pack of cigarettes. He then said “this is a robbery.”

But the clerk took it as a joke. “Come on man, don’t waste my time. I have things to do,” he is reported to have told the green icon.

Claimed to be armed

Gumby, not to be dismissed so easily, then fumbled in his suit, saying he had a gun. The gun never was revealed, but he dropped 27 cents on the floor in the attempt. After that, the plasticine celebrity left with another man, presumably an accomplice. They both fled in a van parked outside the store.

Clerk never called police

The clerk was so sure the whole thing was a gag that he never even called the police. It wasn’t until the store’s manager saw the robbery attempt, which was recorded by the store’s security cameras, that the authorities were notified.

Gary Hassen, a San Diego police detective, told KGTV-TV news that the clerk was not familiar with the Gumby character, and he told detectives that the costume was a big, green SpongeBob SquarePants.

‘It’s a serious crime’

“Yeah, it’s hilarious to look at it on the video,” Hassen said. “But  it is a very serious crime, and we take it very seriously. … It could have been a ski mask. It could have been a bandana. It could have been a hoodie. It just happens to be a Gumby costume.”

Police say the key to capturing the would-be robbers is identifying Gumby’s accomplice, who was not wearing a costume. A reward of $1,000 has been offered for information leading to their arrest.

Gumby ran 35 years

Gumby is a figure made of green clay who starred in a long-running animated children’s show produced by Art Clokey studios between the 1950s and the 1980s. His bendable action figure was also a popular toy of the era.


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A Gumby classic from 1956

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