A gunman fumbled his attempt to rob people remodeling a North Charleston home, prompting a police search that locked down five area schools this afternoon, according to a police statement.

The man walked into 2650 Harvey St. about 1 p.m., pointed a handgun at the construction workers and demanded their money, North Charleston Police Department spokesman Spencer Pryor said in the statement.

The workers didn’t have any cash, they told the robber, so one of them handed him some car keys.

But before the robber left, the keys fell out of the black mesh bag he was toting, Pryor said.

Without any stolen loot, the robber ran across the street, between two houses and toward South Allen Drive.

The police were summoned to the community just southeast of the Dorchester Road interchange with Interstate 26.

Five schools were locked down for an hour during the ensuing search for a suspect: Burns Elementary, Daniel Jenkins Academy, Mary Ford Elementary, Military Magnet, and the Memminger and James Simons Elementary campuses, according to Charleston County School District spokesman Jason Sakran.

Police officers did not immediately find a suspect.

The workers told the police that the robber was black man between 18 and 20 years old, about 6 feet tall and around 120 pounds. He was wearing black pants, a black shirt and a red bandanna over his face.

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