'Polite robber' holds up petrol station

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Surveillance video released in the US has shown a man robbing a petrol station in West Seattle in an unusual way.

After paying for a cup of coffee, the suspect used polite language to tell store attendant John Henry he was robbing him.

"Could you empty that till for me, please. Put it right here," suspect Gregory P Hess said.

"What do you mean?" Henry replied.

"Empty the till. Put your bills right here," Hess said.

"You are sure?" Henry said.

"Yes, I am sure. I know. I am sure. I realise that and I really am sorry to have to do this but I have kids," Hess said.

Henry gave the man $300 and Hess promised to pay the store attendant back "if I ever get back on my feet again".

But the so-called "Polite Robber," who used words including "sorry" and "thank you" during the robbery, is not unfamiliar to authorities.

The suspect is also known as the "Transaction Bandit" and has a history of crime, according to the Seattle Times. He pleaded guilty to robbery in 2003 after alleged involvement in a series of robberies.

After the robbery at the gas station, the man was arrested and charged by King County sheriff's deputies, according to the newspaper.