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Shopkeeper changes robber's mind

June 3, 2009 at 10:45 AM

NEW YORK, June 3 (UPI) -- A New York shopkeeper foiled a robbery of his Long Island store by talking the would-be robber out of his plan and helping him convert to Islam, police say.

Mohammad Sohail was in the process of closing his convenience store on May 21 when a man carrying a baseball bat entered and demanded money, CNN reported Wednesday.

Sohail said he grabbed a shotgun from under the counter and ordered the man to drop his gun and get down on his knees.

"He says, 'Don't call police, don't shoot me,' I have no money, I have no food in my house,'" Sohail said.

After making the man promise not to rob again, Sohail said he gave him $40 and a loaf of bread.

"When he gets $40, he's very impressed," said Sohail, adding that the man told him he wanted to become a Muslim.

Sohail said he had the would-be robber recite an Islamic oath and renamed him Nawaz Sharif Zardari after two Pakistani presidents.

The man fled when Sohail turned around.

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