Philadelphia man attempts to rob store to pay for daughter's operation, returns money: police

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia police are searching for a man accused of attempting to rob a store because he said he needed money for his daughter's kidney transplant operation.

Video shows the man approaching a woman behind the counter with a handgun drawn and waving it in the air at the 1 Stop Smoke Shop.

Kimo, the store owner, said the would-be thief could've gotten away with at least a couple hundred dollars in his hand.

That was unbelievable, what happened because he actually had the money in his hand and refused to take it, and said it wasn't enough to pay for his daughter's kidney transplant," Kimo said.

That's when, out of the blue, the suspect said he wasn't going forward with the robbery. Kimo said the man told him the crime wouldn't help his daughter's kidney operation.

A KYW reporter asked Kimo, "What do you think should happen to him?"

Kimo replied, "Hard to say. I think for willing to use the gun or taking it out of his pocket, he should be punished for that, but in the same time, as a society we should do something to help people like that and not push him to the edge where they have to use a gun."

At that point, the owner said the man put his gun away and became friendly and left without taking the money or hurting anybody.

Even though he didn't take anything, police said the man still faces an armed robbery charge, but they're also interested in learning more about his daughter.

"If you are going to commit a robbery, I guess the best one to commit is one where you don't complete it, and change your mind," Philadelphia Police Capt. Sekou Kinebrew said.

Police said they think they know who the would-be robber is. They said they are trying to track him down and may be able to offer some assistance to his family.