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Man wielding banana robs market, "peels away," say cops

PHILADELPHIA - Police want the public's help to identify a man who was caught on camera using a banana hidden inside his sweatshirt to rob a market, reports CBS Philly.

The incident, captured on surveillance video, happened around 9:15 a.m. Tuesday in Philadelphia's East Parkside neighborhood, according to the station.

Police said the man approached the store counter with his right hand in his hooded sweatshirt and acted as if he had a handgun in his pocket. He allegedly demanded money and cigarettes. Authorities said the footage showed the suspect had actually picked up a banana from the counter and placed it inside his sweatshirt, simulating a handgun.

According to police, the suspect took an undetermined amount of money and fled the scene on a bicycle. "He... gets onto his bike and peels away," Philadelphia Police Lt. John Walker told the station. "So we're asking for the public's help."

CBS Philly reports the suspect is described by police as a black male, between 5'9" and 5'11" tall, 140 pounds with a thin build. He was wearing a tan hooded sweatshirt with "Pacific Coast Hollister 19" on the front in red lettering and black pants.

"We're fearful this male may continue on doing further robberies and he did put these people [in the market] in fear because they could not tell what the item was when he demanded money and claimed he had a gun," Lt. Walker said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Philadelphia Police at 215-686-TIPS (8477), text a tip to 773847 or submit one online at PhillyPolice.com.