What do you do when you are getting robbed and there’s no police officer in sight?
Do you just roll over and give away your hard earned money?
A store owner’s wife and an employee who worked at the store answered the question with aplomb when they locked a would-be robber inside an inner office.
Footage of the incident which took place in April last year was released by investigators a few days ago after the robbery suspect John Bell, pleaded guilty to armed robbery and was sentenced to prison.
It was a dreary Christmas for John Bell who was sentenced to five years in prison, one day before Christmas.
John Bell could never have imagined when he stepped into the store that he would be apprehended after being outwitted by a woman and her employee.
In the surveillance footage released by investigators, Bell is seen casually walking into the cell phone store on Hillcroft Avenue.
The would-be robber was paid no attention by the three other people in the store, the store owner’s wife, a customer and the said employee.
That is until he walked around the store counter and demanded someone open the register.
Defiant and firm, the store owner’s wife whose name is Karina Leon replied in the negative while she assumed a calm pose with her hands on her hip.
Basit Mian, who is the owner of the store, says his wife’s quick thinking helped save the day.
In the video, Bell is seen walking out of frame at which point, Mian’s wife, Leon, the clerk, and a customer pushing a stroller ran out of the store and locked the door
Karina Leon was quoted as saying,
‘As soon as he went into the office I just immediately got out and got the customer out. I just locked him outside because whenever you lock the door outside, from the inside you can’t open it so I knew he wasn’t going to be able to open it’.
About half a minute later, John Bell realized that he was locked in and in footage captured by a security camera was heard muttering,
‘I’m stuck in this building’.
All credit to John Bell has he did the utmost in trying to get out of the building.
The armed robber took a gun out and shot at the lock on the door four times although try as he might, he couldn’t break it.
The perp was seen kicking the door, cursing over and over before muttering, ‘I’m going to jail’.
A few minutes passed before Bell upon spotting some men outside begged them to open the door but they walked away, leaving him to his fate.
Although she was ultimately brave, Karina Leon has revealed that it was out of character for her.
‘I feel like it was out of my character too, because I’m like a really scared and shy person, but I did what I had to do’.
A short three minutes later, officers arrived, opened the door and handcuffed Bell.
‘Everything that the women did just work in our favor, she locked the door, he wasn’t able to get out’ said Officer Jeff Brieden of the Houston Police Robbery Division.
When this robbery happened, Bell was out of jail on probation for a different aggravated robbery case in which he had already been sentenced to 12 years.
That particular robbery happened on July 31, 2015.