Children not a good excuse for robbery

By Daily News • Last Updated 10:26 am on Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A man who allegedly robbed Greenville’s Handy Market last Thursday night repeated a phrase that made a lasting impression on the cashier — and on all of us.

“I’m sorry — I have kids,” he said, and then repeated, “I’m sorry — I have kids.”

The man surely meant to elicit sympathy or offer some explanation for his actions. However, the crime he committed that night is inexcusable.

We don’t know how the man’s children figured into the equation. We can only guess — did he want money to buy food, clothes or Christmas presents for his children? We’re not convinced those are good reasons for a robbery.

Times are tight everywhere and all of us have had to tighten our belt when it comes to our personal finances. We are learning to distinguish between necessities and extras.

For those of us who can’t even afford food, clothes or Christmas presents for our children, there are many local options to offer assistance. The Montcalm County area is home to a multitude of clothing and food pantries. Toys for Tots and other local fundraisers are ensuring many of our children will have a special gift to open on Christmas morning. School officials are working tirelessly to make sure homeless youths of all ages and their families have something to eat, something to wear and someplace to sleep.

Maybe the man who robbed the Handy Market had other reasons for his actions. Maybe he owed child support or medical bills … we can only speculate.

Whatever the reason, his actions were criminal — and his presence seemed familiar, at least according to cashier Debbie Edmaiston who was working the late-night shift when the masked man entered the store and ordered her to get behind the counter. She said the man was antsy and jittery, yet very familiar. She recognized his voice and knew she had seen him before.

We commend Ms. Edmaiston who kept a cool head during the frightening incident. In her own words, this wasn’t her “first rodeo.” She was working at the same store about three years ago when a similar robbery occurred.

“This is my job,” she told The Daily News confidently. “I can’t let it get to me.”

The store remained open that night and Ms. Edmaiston conducted business as normal — or as normally as possible under the circumstances. We are thankful no one was hurt during the robbery and that our local businesses refuse to let one bad apple spoil the bunch for the rest of us.

The robbery of the Handy Market remains under investigation by the Greenville Department of Public Safety. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the department at (616) 754-9161.

Editorial opinions are the consensus of The Daily News editorial board.

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