Oct. 21, 2009— -- A man suspected of robbing an Indianapolis check cashing store removed the bullet from his gun after the clerk talked about God and prayed with him, police said.
The man, Gregory L. Smith of Indianapolis, turned himself in to police a few hours after he allegedly held up the Advance America check cashing store Monday.
Police responding to the store around 4:20 p.m. were told that it had just been robbed.
Smith, 23, initially entered the establishment to apply for a loan, then left to get identification that clerk Angela Montez requested, officials said.
But Smith returned and allegedly pointed a gun at the woman. He then told her that times were hard, he had a son to feed and "he had no choice," according to the report of the incident from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
But when Montez, 43, started to talk to the alleged robber about God, Smith began to tell her about his hardships and asked her to pray with him, the report said.
"I started crying and praying and telling him, 'Don't do this,' he was too young to throw away his life," Montez said on a 911 call to police.
The incident took an even more surprising turn when Smith removed the bullet from his gun and gave it to Montez, police said.
"He took the bullet out of the gun and said, 'Here, I'm not going to hurt you, I'm not going to hurt you,'" Montez said on the 911 call.
Suspect Talked to Victim About His Troubles, Police Say
After they talked, Smith asked Montez for a hug and asked her not to report him, then told her to go into the restroom and not come out for 20 minutes, police said.
Police said Smith took $20 from the cash drawer, leaving the rest of the money behind, and Montez's cell phone from her purse. He turned himself in later that night. His mother had seen surveillance video of the incident on a newscast and urged her son to turn himself in.
Lt. Jeff Duhammell of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police said Montez did well.
"How people react, we just don't know until they're faced with it," he said. "She did an extremely good job, and should be commended for her actions."
Smith was arrested on robbery and firearm charges.