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Gunman robs York City's Philly St. Deli at lunchtime

Liz Evans Scolforo
505-5429/@LizScolforoYD
  • Sara Chum said it's the first time the Philly St. Deli has been robbed in the seven years she's worked there.
  • Anyone with information should call police at (717) 846-1234 or their anonymous crime tip line, (717) 849-2204.

Sara Chum paid no attention as a man clad in black, with his long-sleeve shirt up over his nose, walked into the Philly St. Deli around lunchtime Tuesday.

Philly St. Deli employee Sara Chum, of Lancaster, assists son-in-law Brian Shoffstall with helping a customer Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016. On Tuesday, the deli was robbed at gunpoint while Chum was working alone.
(Amanda J. Cain photo)

The 43-year-old deli clerk/cashier said she thought maybe he had allergies or something.

But Chum reconsidered when he pulled out a handgun and pointed it at her.

She was working alone, but two customers were in the store at the time.

"He pointed the gun at me, then he ... was banging it on the counter really hard," she said. "I just cooperated with him. I handed him the cash, and he left."

The robber told the customers, "I don't want anything from you, only the store," Chum recalled.

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"No one got hurt," she said.

York City Police said the man made off with an undisclosed amount of cash during Tuesday's 11:37 a.m. holdup.

Philly St. Deli employee Sara Chum, of Lancaster, smiles as she talks with customers Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016. On Tuesday, the deli was robbed at gunpoint while Chum was working alone.
(Amanda J. Cain photo)

Couldn't sleep: Chum worked the rest of her shift, waiting until that night to mull over what had just happened to her.

"I was doing fine until I got home," she said. "I just couldn't sleep."

Chum kept thinking about all the little kids who generally run around the family-owned store — including her own 8-year-old daughter.

In the summer, neighborhood kids come in to buy water ice and other treats, she said. And adults seem to love the deli's soups during colder weather, she said.

"We've got our regular loyal customers. ... This is our first time (being robbed)," Chum said. "And I've been working here for the past seven years."

Philly St. Deli at 699 E. Philadelphia St. in York City. 
(Amanda J. Cain photo)

She said she's not going to let the robbery affect how she lives her life.

"I can't let that scare me from doing what I'm doing to support (my family)," Chum said.

Chum's sister, Sary Chum, bought the deli about two years ago, Sara Chum said.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call York City Police at (717) 846-1234 or call the city's anonymous crime tip line, (717) 849-2204. Or text "yorktips" and your information to 847-411.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.