Customer Robbed at Allentown Convenience Store

February 7, 2012 Updated Feb 7, 2012 at 2:34 AM EDT

By John Borsa

February 7, 2012 Updated Feb 7, 2012 at 2:34 AM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - Monday morning and after a long weekend of bar tending at a downtown nightclub, Don Rice of Buffalo is standing in line at the Elmwood Market waiting to purchase a $550 money order to pay his rent.

Then something unexpected happened.

"I initially thought it was a joke," Rice said.

But this was no joke. A man standing near him by the store's check-out counter grabbed all of the cash that Rice was holding in his hand.

"It was just about my turn and I was going to go up to the counter and it got snatched out of my hand and he ran," Rice said.

"Initially I was just shocked. I couldn't move. And I thought it was a joke and I realized it wasn't," he said.

The man bolted for the door and ran off.

That's when the store clerk, Gamal Harara, sprang into action. Harara jumped over the counter and chased the man. Several customers joined him. They finally caught up with the man who took the money around the corner on North Street.

"I approached him," said Harara. "I told him to drop the money. Won't call the cops. You can walk away from this or I could hold you down and have you arrested. And then thank God he dropped the money."

Harara brought the money back to Rice.

"I just said thank you," Rice explained. "I didn't know what else to say but thank you. It's just a true testament that Buffalo is really, like, the city of good neighbors."