BUTTE - Apparently tired of searching for the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, a leprechaun robbed a Butte laundry of $322 on the eve of St. Patrick's Day.
The robber - wearing a fake black beard, mustache, black plastic derby hat and green kilt, according to police dispatch reports - flashed a gun a clerk at the Front Street Laundromat, 1000 E. Front St., around 11 p.m. Wednesday.
"It is Butte,” said laundry owner Don Heffington. "Butte gets pretty crazy on St. Patrick's Day, and it was probably someone who needed a little bit more money for stimulants.”
Heffington described the robber as about 30 years old and roughly 5 feet, 9 inches tall.
The elf waited outside the laundry for the last customer to leave after it closed at 10 p.m., Heffington said. Then he entered the store, opened his jacket and displayed a revolver.
"Give me all your money or I'll shoot,” the leprechaun ordered, according to Heffington.
The clerk handed the man all the money from the register. Then the leprechaun warned, "Don't follow me or I'll shoot,” according to Heffington.
Police responded shortly afterward, although they were unable to locate the suspect. They checked nearby stores to see if anyone saw the elf, according to dispatch reports.
The only positive aspect of the robbery, Heffington said, is that the leprechaun only stole money from the register. He could have also broken into the machines. That happened a few months ago at the same laundry where a burglar stole around $2,500.
Heffington said his insurance does not pay for lost cash. And even though the thefts have not put him out of business after opening the laundry last year, they are discouraging.
"I really can't afford to finance all the criminals in town - that is for damn sure,” Heffington said.