Clerk talks to man about God during armed robbery attempt in Canonsburg

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CANONSBURG, Pa. - Police are crediting a woman talking about God with preventing a robbery at a Canonsburg Subway on Sunday.

Authorities said Mario Pelligrini walked into the store with a bandana over his face and demanded money from the woman working the counter, Mary Moss.

“I asked him if he wanted a sandwich and he said, ‘No. I want the money,’” Moss said. “He was so nervous. He kept moving the bandana around and told me he really didn’t want to do this.”

Moss told Channel 11’s Cara Sapida that she told Pelligrini, “You don’t need to do this. The only thing you owe is the debt to God.”

According to Moss, she talked with Pelligrini for a few minutes and gave him a free soda before politely asking him to leave.

“He was desperate and said he was afraid for his life because he owed money. He said he prayed to God and God didn’t answer,” Moss said.

Moss said she told Pelligrini that “sometimes God doesn’t answer right away.”

Police said Moss talked with Pelligrini long enough that once officers arrived at the scene, they arrested him nearby.

Moss also told Sapida that she was supposed to be in church during the robbery attempt Sunday, but she was filling in for a co-worker.

Investigators said Pelligrini had a pellet gun in his pocket. He is facing charges of attempted robbery.

No injuries were reported in the incident.