Serv-U Served Him

January 6, 2010
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Patti’s father, Bill, had a chain of Serv-U drug stores in the Milwaukee area. She has worked at about every store her dad owned as a teenager. But one entire summer, she worked at the store on 60th and Center Street in Milwaukee.
“It was July, 1981, so I was 20,” she says having a flashback.
She worked at the register in the back where the “liquor, cigarettes, and make-up were kept.” The drug store was long and narrow so there where two pharmacists in the front, and her in the back. Alone.
It was a costumer-less night in July and Patti was closing at Serv-U. “We closed at 10, and it was about nine o’clock,” she says. That last hour would feel as if it “seemed like forever”.
“A man with a silver barreled gun walked to the back of the store where I was working.” Patti’s heart raced, but she stayed calm. The man put the gun to her stomach and directed her to open the register. She did as she was told. He reached across the counter and grabbed all the paper money. He then stuffed it in his “ugly brown bag” and closed the drawer.
“He told me to lay on the floor behind the counter and then he took his gun and tapped it on the back of my head. Bent down by my side he said, ‘Don’t get up for another five minutes.’” So she did. And as she lay on the cold tile floor, she thought to herself, Should I get up? What if he’s still there? He wouldn’t be very happy with me… Maybe I should just stay here. She didn’t move a muscle. Those next few minutes “seemed like forever.”
Once these five minutes passed, Patti started to scream and the two pharmacists at the counters in front raced to the back. That man came in and out of the store without the two grown pharmacists even noticing he robbed it.
“He knew what he was doing. He stayed very calm and quiet,” Patti says. After they closed the store, and called her dad and the police; she felt a sort of after shock disbelief. But this wasn’t the end of it. Patti’s mom and dad went with her down to city hall and describe the burglar.
“I remember when I had to go down town to look at the mug shots,” Patti says. “It happened so fast and I was so scared, I didn’t take the time to memorize his face. Plus I think he kept telling me not to look at him.” She looked through hundreds of photos and didn’t recognize a single one. After all that, “they never even caught the guy.”

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