A man robbed a 72-year-old Polk Street merchant of a soda last weekend and then threatened her with a hypodermic needle while claiming to be HIV positive, police said.
The robbery reportedly occurred about 10:30 a.m. Sunday at a liquor store in the 1000 block of Polk Street.
A man in his 40s who appeared to be a transient walked into the store, grabbed a soda and began to walk out without paying, Officer Gordon Shyy said.
"The suspect said, 'I'm taking this soda'" as he left, Shyy said.
The merchant protested, but the man turned around and pointed a hypodermic needle at her.
He told the merchant that he would stab her with the needle if she tried to stop him, police said. The suspect also warned he was HIV positive.
The man fled and a subsequent police search failed to find him. Shortly after police left, Shyy said, the man returned to the store, made another threatening remark and chucked merchandise onto the floor.
The second unwanted visit wasn't reported to police until later in the afternoon, Shyy said.