TAMPA, Florida - Investigators are searching for a man caught on store security cameras trying to rob the Dollar General Store on West Hillsborough early Sunday morning.
Store employee Suzanne Yancey says the suspect looked like any other customer when he came inside looking to purchase candy.
"He was six cents short so I said he could have it," said Yancey, who watched as the man came inside to buy a second candy bar a short time later.
"I went to open the register to get change out and he said, 'Don't do that,'" recalled Yancey, who said the man suddenly reached over the counter to grab money out of the drawer.
That's when Yancey said she noticed the man was armed with a knife that he'd set down on the counter, an opportunity she saw to keep herself from getting stabbed.
"I got a hold of it and threw it down the aisle," said Yancey, who admitted she normally avoids confrontation. "I'm not a piece of steak!"
But what happened next even shocked Yancey's husband, who watched security video of the incident for the first time Tuesday night. It shows the 58-year-old store clerk pushing the larger male suspect away and fighting to keep him from taking more money.
"I didn't know I had a Rambo for a wife," said Mr. Yancey.
Police say they don't recommend robbery victims fighting back, but in this case they're relieved Yancey made it out of the situation unharmed.
"Give them what they're looking for," cautioned Tampa Police spokeswoman Andrea Davis. "Nothing is worth your life, nothing is worth being injured."
"I have a lot of patience and I'm very calm," said Yancey. "And with my horoscope as a Tarus, I'm stubborn."
Yancey said while the situation still has her shaken, she's not willing to let Sunday's incident keep her from the part-time job she loves.
"It has affected me, but not enough to keep me away," said Yancey. "There are certain things you have with fear and I want to be able to continue with the customer service."
Tampa Police say tracking down the suspect is a high priority.
"This is very serious for us and you don't know if he's going to escalate to something more violent the next time," said Davis.
Yancey also hopeful police will soon make an arrest."I do not want that to happen to anyone else."
Tampa Police are asking anyone with information on the case to call detectives or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS.
Follow 10 News Reporter Beau Zimmer on twitter @Zimm10