Police: Gas station clerk was ready after robberies

The third time was the charm for a gas station attendant who'd had her fill of thieves.

After being robbed twice in the same week by the same man, a clerk at the Union 76 gas station at 2099 W. Orangeburg Ave. in Modesto was ready when the same robber returned Wednesday night, Sgt. Craig Gundlach said.

The clerk took down the thief's license plate number and called police, who arrested a 28-year-old man. The clerk later picked the man, Kevin Michael Cummins, out of a photo lineup at the police station, Sgt. Al Brocchini said Thursday.

The robber got away the first two times because, in part, he left on foot. So the clerk had no license plate to record. But on Monday, he drove up to the station in a burgundy vehicle and walked right in.

"He felt like he could get away with it. He wasn't working hard not to get caught," Gundlach said.

All three times, the robber used a pocket knife to force the attendant out of his way as he took cash out of the register from behind the counter. At least twice, he took lottery tickets, the 24- year-old clerk told police.

The station was first robbed Dec. 23 at 8:40 p.m. After buying a few things, the robber walked around the counter and forced the clerk to the ground while he took cash out of the register.

He returned two nights later about 5 p.m., did the same and took off on foot.

The next night, he drove up about 7:30 p.m.

Police would not specify how much he got away with except to say it was not a significant amount of money.

Cummins was booked on suspicion of robbery and was being held Thursday at the downtown men's jail on $75,000 bail.

Bee staff writer Eve Hightower can be reached at 578-2382 or ehightower@modbee.com.