LOS ANGELES In the world of animated TV, it's no stretch to say that good-natured Gumby is far down the list of characters that would commit armed robbery.
But a man clad in a full-figured Gumby costume has made a botched attempt to rob a 7-Eleven store in California, and authorities are looking for the suspect, police said on Wednesday.
It happened early on Monday when the man came into the San Diego store dressed as the green claymation figure, accompanied by an ordinarily dressed accomplice, San Diego Police spokesman Detective Gary Hassen said.
The costumed man announced he was robbing the store, but the clerk thought it was a joke, police said.
"Gumby said, 'You don't think it's a robbery? Let me show you my gun,'" Hassen said.
The suspect then tried to reach into his Gumby outfit but experienced a "costume malfunction" and could not fit his hand in a pocket, he said.
Instead of a gun, the costumed suspect pulled out 26 cents in change which he dropped on the floor, police said.
The accomplice, who had left the store and gotten into a minivan, honked at the man dressed as Gumby. He, too, walked out of the store without managing to take any money, police said. Both men left in the minivan.
After their getaway, the store clerk was still not certain an attempted robbery had occurred and did not call police. The store manager, who arrived later that morning, reported the incident.
Police were treating the episode, which was captured on surveillance video, as an attempted robbery and not a prank, Hassen said.
Gumby, a green humanoid figure who looks like an elastic stick of gum with limbs, was created in the 1950s by the late Art Clokey and his wife, Ruth. Gumby had a sidekick, the talking orange horse Pokey.
(Additional reporting by Marty Graham in San Diego; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Cynthia Johnston)