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KANNAPOLIS, N.C. --The search is on for an attempted armed robber who tried to hold up a Kanapolis Cookout Restaurant. The foiled crime was caught on camera.

The video was taken from the restaurant's security camera, just after 7 a.m., Tuesday. It shows the employee's quick reaction after turning around to see a masked gunman running towards him.

"I was taken aback by how well this employee with a gun pointed at him and a gentlemen running." Said Lt. Terry Spry with Kannapolis Police Department.

"He had enough presence of mind to pull the key out of the door and close the door behind him."

The video shows the door being slammed in the suspect face, and soon the gunman gave up and fled on foot in the same direction he approached the restaurant.

"It would lead you to believe it wasn't the first time he's committed an act like this," said Spry.

Police can't say for sure, but believe the gunman planned the robbery, targeting the employee before the business was open for business.

Spry says the gunman may be familiar with the operations of such businesses, or knew there would not be as many people around early in the morning.

Police say the incident should serve as a reminder to employees in similar positions, working odd hours or alone to be on guard at all times.

"Be conscious and aware of your surroundings. Obviously he foiled the robbery by his actions. If you encounter something like that, give the suspect what he wants, often times, not always, the suspect is after your money or items that you have, it's not worth losing your life over," said Spry.

Police say the suspect had a mask over his face, but they were able to determine the gunman was a black man, with a thin build, possibly with dreadlocks. If you have any information on the case, call Kannapolis police.

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