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.



Quite a different story once the gun is turned on the thug. Wait until the company fires the guy for going against company policy- "We're sorry to have to let you go, but you clearly violated your employment contract with us by not handing over the $ and allowing yourself to be used for target practice-you're fired!"


I'm pretty sure that I read on Sandusky Scanner Live that the gun clip didn't have any bullets in it, but I think if it were me, and not knowing the clip was empty at the time, I would have complied with the robber! NOTHING is worth losing your life over, especially a few measly dollars from the cash register!...What IF the gun HAD been loaded and during the scuffle Mr. Alvarez or the other employee or even a customer had been shot and killed!?!? When I worked retail, I was ALWAYS told that if a situation like that arose, you should comply so as not to risk your life! I guess its just a good thing that the gun wasn't even loaded, because who knows what would have transpired that night if it was!


more then likely the would be robber would just take the money and run , but there are times when the would be robber would shot just to prove what a thug he really is ,Its a shame

2cents's picture

That is the concern, look at the couple coming out of the mall. The man was executed and they took their car. You just never know and you make the decision that your brain gives you in each and every situation. Michael Jordon's father complied and wound up dead too!


The lady in Willard Family Dollar complied a couple months ago .... and she also wound up dead


What is it with the profanity filter today! I can't post a response to anything! It was quite "clean" by the way


making minimal wage at a job like that.. It's not even worth it. Gve the dude the money


I wouldn't wanna fight that dude. I would, but I wouldn't go asking for it that's for sure. Glad no one was hurt




As someone that shopped in that store DAILY and many times at that time of night and knowing the women that work there...kudos for being a man and doing that. dangerous yes...but that store is robbed pretty often by ppl in the tims...(I lived there long enough id know) the criminal always runs back there. THAT is why they put that camera there...the owner and his wife are always there...I HIGHLY doubt Mr. Alvarez will be terminated...hell he deserves a little bonus for his bravery....just sayin


if it were me and i was the clerk , I would have put a bullet in his leg so the cops could have been able to find this thug . All I can say is the owner of the store should be proud and lucky he hired you . If it were me and I own the store you can bet you would be getting an award as well as raise . There is way to much of this kind of thing going on now a days , not only in Sandusky , but all around the country .I would not be a bit surprised if Drugs wasnt somehow involved


Sounds like money had nothing to do with it. He was protecting a female coworker. I am glad to hear that chivalry is alive and well.




thank you trekkydotty


thank you trekkydotty




Yea just comply. So these bums can force you to the back room and tell you and your coworker to kneel and not look, while he puts a bullet in your brain? Ain't happening bro! I'll take my chances on trying to disarm him when he is distracted just a bit. Ain't going out like that!


Yea just comply. So these bums can force you to the back room and tell you and your coworker to kneel and not look, while he puts a bullet in your brain? Ain't happening bro! I'll take my chances on trying to disarm him when he is distracted just a bit. Ain't going out like that!


it wasnt about money or self pride,it was about protecting another life


it wasnt about money or self pride,it was about protecting another life


Mr. Alvarez, I'm not against the fact that you were trying to protect the female employee, matter of fact, I give you big props for what you did! I was just wondering though after watching the video, why you didn't beat his a** down to the ground and keep him there until police arrived?...in the video it shows you pretty much pushing him out of the store....I woulda tied his a** up and kept his a** there for the police to transport him to his vacation destination!!!


Mr. Alvarez is certainly braver than most, and to have done what he did to protect a co-worker only makes him a bigger and better man. It's fortunate that Alvarez didn't lose his head and kept up his defense until he overcame the would-be robber using nothing but nerve and strength!

It's too bad more store clerks aren't armed, though. This COULD have turned out differently! I'm betting that robberies would slow WAY down if more of those attempting the crime were summarily shot. It would save a fortune in court and incarceration costs, too, for those dumb enough (or evil enough) to risk it anyway. Win, win!


thank you samadams

Sal Dali

Have any of you have been robbed before? Giving up the cash is one of the first things an employer will tell you to do or should. No one's life is worth any amount of cash; they carry insurance for that. Doesn't this place have a silent alarm or some type of a system to silently alert the police? BTW, I have been a victim of armed robbery--I gave up the cash. Struggling with a dude 6 foot tall and 220 pounds doesn't sound like something I would try. Bullets or no bullets this guy is dangerous. Have they caught him yet?


Heres the deal that store has been robbed numerous times in the past year. And the reason why is because its been so easy for the robbers. Now hopefully they will think twice about robbing them again. Another thing is yes most employers train you to hand over the money and comply with the thieves, however just like adrenaline your brain sends an instant fight or flight signal to the rest of your body. And in most circumstances you act on these signals before you even have time to process everything. Hind sight is 20/20. Would Mr. Alvarez reacted the same way if he had a moment to think about what was actually happening? maybe but most likely not. Mr Alvarez you should be recognized and acknowledged for what you did. I do not know you or your co-worker, but as a human being, I want to thank you for going above and beyond of what was expected of you. Merry Christmas


WASP SPRAY!! , people, Wasp Spray. the can that shoots 20 to 30 feet AIM for the eyes.

Like Speedy says don't go out like that take the punks with you _ down with you one way or another.


Excellent job Mr. Alvarez !..If anyone here says anything negative about what you did. Then thats complete crap. Glad someone showed these clowns not to mess around with people like that, because not every cashier is a pushover!!.


Mr. Alvarez, you are the men for that one.. you are a hero. I know policy is to hand over the money but one some peoples instinct kicks in they eather, run, comply, or instincively do what you did. Their is no time time to think, it is just react and different people will react in a different way. I'm glad you are a soilder and that punk id going to think twice before he ever pulls that gun on anyone else again. Thanks to you. You are truly a hero


As I recall that store had been hit before and as far as I know the party that robbed it before got away .I know if I was the owner of that store I would have a gun and would use it to protect my store as well as honest law bidding residents that come to my store .
It seems like the police can not be everywhere at once , and its a shame that we have to make justice work because the police can not be everywhere .
Its a shame that people cannot live without fear of these thugs . And I can not blame this guy for taken steps that the police could not do .Its like I said before and I will say again that I would not at all be surprised if drugs didnt have something to do with this .Somewhere , somehow


Well done, Marc Alvarez.......The Pussycat Patrol applauds your heroics. We will be on high alert to find this dirtbag and bring him to justice. Thanks, Mr. Alvarez - we like your style.


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.


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!!!


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.


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!!


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


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.


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