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Casual conversation about laundry quickly took a serious turn early Monday when a robbery occurred at Burke Cleaners, 3024 Avenue of the Cities, Moline.

A white male suspect broke out a pair of scissors and demanded manager Patti Misfeldt open the cash register shortly before 7 a.m. The man, described as 35-45 years old with blonde hair, fled on foot after taking less than $50, district manager Pat Dilla said. He was wearing gray sweatpants and a gray hooded sweatshirt, Moline Police Detective Michael Griffin said in a news release.

The suspect remains at large.

Misfeldt, an employee of 24 years, recounted the incident after the store reopened to customers between 9:30-10 a.m. "It was scary," she said. "I couldn't believe what I was hearing."

After opening the register, Misfeldt carefully stepped backward toward a door that leads to the building's basement. "I didn't want to turn my back to him."

She then rushed to a bathroom, locked the door and called 911. Moline and Illinois State Police responded to the scene.

Misfeldt, who did not sustain injuries, continued working Monday. "I guess I'm all right," she said. This was the first robbery at any of the 20 Burke Cleaners locations in 10 years, said Dilla, an employee of 28 years. 

"We don't keep much cash on hand," she said. "Hopefully it was just a fluke."

The original Burke Cleaners opened in 1944 at 936 W. 4th St., Davenport.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Moline Police Criminal Investigations Division at 309-524-2140 or CrimeStoppers of the Quad-Cities at 309-762-9500.

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Jack Cullen uncovers different slices of life for the Quad-City Times. He previously covered the city of Bettendorf. When he's not reporting, Jack enjoys coaching tennis and exploring the outdoors.