Police in Ashland, Kentucky, said they believed that Gerald Rocchi was the Stapler Bandit who robbed a local ice cream shop on Tuesday, armed only with a stapler.
Employees at the ice cream shop, which in a complete surrender on the creativity front is called "The Ice Cream Shop," handed over $175 to a man who entered the shop wearing a ski mask and brandishing a chrome-plated staple gun. He then fled to a nearby Ponderosa steakhouse, where he changed clothes and then fled again. Witnesses who saw the Bandit fleeing were able to give police enough information to lead them to a nearby house. When Rocchi refused their orders to come out, a standoff ensued, during which numerous heavily armed policemen were held off for nearly an hour by a guy with a staple gun.
It is unclear whether they or the employees knew that the Bandit was only armed with a stapler. A police spokesman said that because of its chrome finish, the stapler could have been mistaken for a handgun "if someone didn’t get a good look at it." But if they did think it was a gun, it is hard to see how police could be sure that Rocchi was the Bandit after finding only a stapler and no actual gun at his house. Seems like employee cowardice is a better explanation for the success of the holdup, and that they were looking for a guy with a stapler all along.
The spokesman said that the search had also turned up evidence linking Rocchi with a holdup last week at a local Wendy’s restaurant. He declined to say what that evidence was, but did say that the culprit in that case also reportedly used a staple gun.
It apparently remains unclear whether he planned to shoot staples at his victims if they refused his demands, or just hit them with the stapler.