Police say the 34-year-old clerk suffered some sort of medical emergency and was in critical condition at an Auburn hospital.
Auburn police say they have identified two teenagers who were caught on a widely viewed surveillance video stealing from a gas-station convenience store after the clerk collapsed with an apparent health issue.
Police Cmdr. Steve Stocker said investigators started receiving tips about the teens’ identities on Monday night, shortly after the department published on its Facebook page a surveillance video from the gas station at 201 Auburn Way S.
The clerk is a 34-year-old man who is receiving treatment at Auburn Valley Medical Center, Stocker said. In the initial Facebook post, police said he was in critical condition. However, the nature of his medical emergency was not released.
According to police, the two teens and a man walked into the store around 5:41 p.m. Monday. Shortly afterward, the clerk appears to argue with the boys while ringing up their purchases. One of the teens gave the clerk a dollar bill, police said, but the clerk became upset and walked around the counter, where he can be seen gesticulating and pointing.
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After speaking with them, the clerk turned to walk back toward the cash register, but crashed suddenly into a display case and onto the floor, the video shows.
The two teenagers and the man left without attempting to help the clerk. The two boys then returned and took cash out of the register before running out again, according to the video.
Police said dispatch received a call for help from another customer who entered the store about three minutes after the teens left for the final time.
Stocker said the teens are likely to face charges of theft and burglary because they returned and entered the store with an intent to steal. Formal charges will be determined by prosecutors once arrests have been made.
It is not generally a crime to fail to summon aid to a fallen person, police said. However, according to state law, it can be a criminal act if the failure to seek help occurs during the commission of a crime that causes injury.
Stocker said police are urging the teens and the adult to “turn themselves in and talk to us.”