It wasn’t the robber’s first crime or the first time the Latina Cellular store has been robbed, except this time, the mobile phone repair employee was ready to handle the situation. This Wednesday, Houston police released a statement and video detailing the incident.
John Bell, 22, walked into the store and ordered employee Katrina Leon to open the cash register. “As soon as he entered and he just pointed the gun at me, and I knew instantly I’m getting robbed again,” Katrina recalled in an ABC News interview. “But this time I didn’t open the cash register.”
Leon denied Bell’s request, ushered another employee and a customer pushing a stroller out of the store and locked the door from the outside. “I just locked him in, because when 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,” Leon stated.
What follows is the increasingly despairing robber’s attempts to achieve freedom. He first tries shooting the lock off the door. He fails. He then threw his body against the door and started kicking it. The door didn’t even budge. Out of options, Bell made one last attempt. He began to beg.
His yells are heard throughout the video. “Please! Please! Please! I’m sorry, please! Help, please!” At one point he gets down on his knees. Bell pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and sentenced to five years in prison on December 18th. At the time of his arrest, he was on probation for committing a similar crime in 2015.
This article was inspired by THE WASHINGTON POST // Watch these employees leave armed robber locked in store, begging for release