Josh Heckman, manager of Pacific Outfitters’ Arcata store, closed up shop just before 8:30 p.m. yesterday. He gathered up his personal effects and all the store’s deposits for the day, then headed over to his car, which was parked near the corner of Seventh and G streets.

Heckman got to his car, opened the door, got in. But as he went to shut the door, a man wearing a skull mask ran up, barred the door and stuck a gun in his face. The masked man demanded Heckman’s wallet, his keys, his phone … and the store deposit bag Heckman was carrying, swollen with a day’s worth of Christmas-season store revenue. Heckman gave it all to him and the masked man ran off toward the south.

A few minutes later, the following call went out to all local law enforcement:


Heckman told the Outpost that he spent a couple of hours with the Arcata Police Department last night, and that they came and spoke to him again this morning. He got his wallet and phone back after another citizen found them on the street and turned them into the police last night or this morning.

He says he believes that there is a “fair possibility” that the robber knew who he was, and what he would likely be carrying at that time of night, after closing the store. Heckman declined to state how much of the store’s cash he was carrying at the time, but he allowed that it was substantially more than a random person on the street was likely to have. The robber, he noted, was not acting on a whim – he was in disguise, and he must have hidden himself while Heckman walked to his car and got in.

There doesn’t exist much in the way of a description of the suspect. Masked man with camo jacket, carrying a silver and black revolver. But it is a reminder for local merchants to be careful with their bank deposits. Heckman said that Pacific Outfitters has already changed its procedure for removing cash from the store.