UPDATED WITH VIDEO: Store clerk disarms robber

Gunman storms into store, demanding money before being chased out. Police still searching for suspect.
Tom Jackson
Dec 23, 2013
Marc Alvarez said he wasn’t about to put up with it when a gunman showed up after 11 p.m. Saturday night at Convenience Food Mart, 1917 E. Perkins Ave., and demanded money.
 
“That kind of stuff can’t happen,” said Alvarez, 34, a Sandusky resident who’s a cashier at the store.

So instead of cooperating with the gunman, Alvarez attacked him, disarmed him and drove him out of the store.

Watch video of the altercation in the video below

Alvarez said Sunday night that during the incident, he was worried about protecting his female co-worker.

“My main priority at the time was to keep my co-worker who was with me safe and out of the way” Alvarez said.

Alvarez said when the would-be robber showed up and pointed a gun, “I came around the counter. I told him there was no money in the drawer”

When the robber tried to raise the gun again, Alvarez, a large man, hit him on the hand.

“I tried to grab his gun and his firearm” Alvarez said.

The two tussled.

“He pistol-whipped me on top of the head,” Alvarez said.

By the time the two reached the beer cooler, Alvarez said he was able to “bum rush him into the cooler” and take the handgun away.

Alvarez turned the pistol on the robber and got him out the door. The man, trying to run away, tried to slow Alvarez down.

“He threw a trash can at me. I blocked the trash can out of the way” Alvarez said.

When police arrived at the scene, Alvarez turned over a semiautomatic handgun that police now have locked away, said Sgt. Mark Kusser of the Perkins Police Department. Police were told the suspect ran toward the Pioneer Trail area.

“We searched the area for the individual but were unable to locate anybody,” Kusser said.

Police are attempting to obtain a surveillance video of the incident, Kusser said. The gun will be sent out to be tested for clues, he said.

Alvarez said the robber was a black male about 6 feet tall, weighing perhaps 220 pounds. He wore a black hooded sweatshirt, tan sweat pants and a black ski mask.

The man had a light, scruffy beard and spoke with a deep, gravelly voice, Alvarez said.

Asked how he had the confidence to take on an armed man, Alvarez said, “I don’t know where that came from. It just happened”

But he said what he did was nothing special.

“I think a lot of people would do the same thing,” he said.

Comments

PyrkinsPyrate

I watched this several times. Virtually every law enforcement agent, from the elusive black op types in new explorers going 80 mph down Columbus Ave to the Sandusky Mall security guards in their Rhode Island State Trooper get-ups, will agree with me that the failed Steven Seagal move about 20 seconds in very well could have been the escalation of a situation that could have resulted in robbery victims becoming homicide victims. Very strange to view. Could lead some LEOs to suggest that the robbery was staged or not exactly real, perhaps a ploy to get some Christmas magic going with the community. This will get interesting. My gut level is when the dust settles that there won't be armed robbery charges but a lot of false police reports and disorderly conduct charges.

YouMustBeJoking

Pyrkins, I didn't see this as being faked or staged at all. What I did see was a punk that just wanted money, and he figured if he showed a weapon he would get the loot quicker and easier. I dont believe the punk had any plan on using the weapon (this time). He was clearly just as scared if not more so than the clerk. It seems as if the robber had a plan when he went into the store, when the clerk didn't comply the robber was caught off guard and didn't know what to do next. Because confrontation wasn't in his "plan"

Big Poppy

Pyrkins that's what I'm thinking after watching it. So hey you have a gun lets take a stroll around the store and I'll show you all the beer we have and all the other merchandise we sell. And I'll take the gun from you and walk you to the door. Why didn't he try to keep him in the store since he had the gun? Oh that's right it was out of camera view that Marc became a hero! Wake up people!!!

toredown11

Mr. Alvarez showed courage that many of us only dream of; putting his safety at risk in order to protect a fellow employee shows tremendous character and I applaud him for that. I couldn't be happier that no one was killed or injured (we now know that there were no bullets in the gun, but Mr. Alvarez didn't know that at the time) and his bravery is beyond words.

I want to follow my praise, and this is in no way a criticism of Mr. Alvarez, by letting other store employees know that in most cases, this isn't the recommended way to handle a situation like this. I spent many years in the retail environment and went to coutless meetings conducted by various law enforcement officials (police officers, ex-FBI agents and security officers) and the message from each meeting was basically the same: do not engage or resist the robber. Here are some other points that I took out of my meetings and I did a quick look on the internet to see if the preferred methods have changed (they have not - and please remember, these are based on nationwide statistics on the best way to ensure that no one is hurt or killed during a robbery):

- Cooperate and stay calm. The robber is probably just as nervous as you are and you want to get him/her out of your store as soon as possible.

- Only activate a silent alarm if you can do it secretly (and do not active an alarm that can be heard by the perpetrator). You don't want to make any sudden movements that could aggravate or upset the robber. Also, tell the robber of anything that might surprise him (like someone is in the rest room and will be coming out soon).

- Do not argue, fight or use weapons against the robber. Remember, you are trying to get the assailant out of your store as quickly as possible and the main objective is to keep yourself, any other employees and any customers in the store as safe as possible.

- If you have to move for any reason, tell the robber why you are doing so.

- Try to get a good look at the robber without making him/her nervous. Your description will be the best bet for the authorities to capture the criminal. If he or she is not wearing gloves, watch what they touch in the store - fingerprints are still a great tool for law enforcement.

- After the robber leaves, lock the doors and THEN call the police.

If there are any law enforcement officers or officials that would like to add anything, please do. With benefits being cut (food stamps, unemployment benefits, etc.), I'm afraid that some people will feel more desperate than ever. Desperation, whether it be for food or drugs, is the biggest motivator for someone to turn to crime.

Again, I commend Mr. Alvarez for his bravery and I'm so happy that his situation turned out for the best.

thinktwice

Nice move Alvarez! Priceless!

he said she said

I have been in the situation where a gun was held on me and was robbed. Terrifying! Then the anger starts and then the breakdown. I applaud this man for his bravery but his life is more precious than that store's money!

I know his adrenaline was pumping but I wonder though, when he had the gun and was pushing the robber towards the door, why didn't he force the robber to take the mask off? Just asking, don't beat me up!!

deertracker

I say if you are going to die, die fighting!

Logistics

We need more people like Mr. Alvarez in this horrible world we live in. Thank you for your courage and bravery, and I pray for everyone's sake the catch this thug and get him behind bars as soon as possible. I hope you and your family Have a Merry Christmas, Marc. Thankfully you are alive to enjoy the holidays.

kURTje

"Better to die standing than serve on your knees. Emileano Zapata." Marc we wish you & yours a great New Year!

Pages