Owner holds-up gas station robber with handgun | News
HOUSE SPRINGS, MO (KTVI) – A robbery went terribly wrong for one first-time crook. It happened just before 10am Tuesday morning at a Phillips 66 Fast Mart in House Springs.
Seven dollars is all that 26-year-old Gerald Brown got after holding a store clerk at gunpoint, but he didn’t even get away with it.
Lt. John Dolan with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office explains, “It looked like he had trouble getting the weapon out of his pants, and then once he displayed it, the attendant obviously knew what was up, but she didn’t open the cash drawer for him, just gave him personal money.”
That’s when the manager at this Highway 30 Fast Mart stepped in. He lured the suspect out to his truck, with the promise of more cash. “Well, I guess he took the bait on that, and the manager went out to his truck and retrieved his own gun,” says Dolan, “and then he held him at gunpoint, got him down in the parking lot, and approximately 30 seconds later, the sheriff’s deputies showed up and took him into custody.”
Jefferson County residents hope this act of self defense sends a strong message to criminals. “You get what you deserve in life. You don’t just go hold people up and think no recourse,” says U.S. military veteran John Rackovan.
Debbie Cleek adds, “People that get robbed are going to be drawing their own line and are not going to be easy targets anymore.”
Dolan says the suspect has no criminal record, besides some traffic violations. But now, he’ll have to add a botched robbery to that list. Rackovan muses, “For seven bucks, is it worth going to jail? Armed robbery’s a long time.”
Gerald Brown, from Morse Mill, is being held in the Jefferson County Jail, charged with Armed Criminal Action, Robbery, and Stealing.
Meanwhile, Dolan says the store manager’s heroic actions may be submitted for the Citizens’ Recognition Award, given to deserving citizens at the sheriff’s office monthly meetings.