Merchant punches, pepper-sprays robber — and wins 

A shopkeeper punched and pepper-sprayed a robber who claimed to have a gun, thwarting the theft in the Tenderloin Sunday morning, police said.

The attempted robbery occurred around 1:40 a.m. in the 1000 block of Larkin Street.

The suspect, described as a 32-year-old black man, said he had a gun and then demanded the store’s cash, police said.

The 38-year-old shopkeeper complied at first. But after realizing that the crook did not have a gun, he punched the thief and took the money back, cops said.

The shopkeeper then pepper-sprayed the would-be bandit, who was incapacitated until cops arrived and arrested him, police said.

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