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The first rule of being a successful bandit is make sure the getaway car is unlocked.

A man who forgot that rule had to flee on foot and dropped the $39 he had taken from a store Tuesday.The bandit entered the store just before 6 a.m., displayed a gun and demanded money, Police Lt. William Boreczky said. The robber got the money and fled just before off-duty Deputy Harold Thompson happened to enter the store.

Thompson then spotted the suspect and gave chase, following him into an alley where the bandit found the doors to his stolen getaway car locked. Thompson fired a shot, scaring the thief into dropping his gun, which turned out to be a starter pistol, and the cash before fleeing, Boreczky said.