A robbery was thwarted at a Houston business when a quick-thinking worker exited the store and locked the would-be thief inside, Houston police said in a statement posted Wednesday, along with a newly released video of the incident. The suspect begged to be let out, but not before he tried to shoot the lock off the door, perhaps something he saw in the movies.
John Bell, 22, pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and was sentenced to five years in prison on Dec. 18 in connection with the April incident at Latino Cellular, according to the police statement.
Here’s what happened:
Bell walked into the store and ordered an employee, identified by Houston news outlets as 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, but this time I didn’t open the cash register,” Leon told ABC News.
The video shows Leon declining Bell’s request and then ushering another employee and a customer pushing a stroller out of the store. Leon then 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 said.
When Bell realized he was locked in, he pulled out a gun and repeatedly shot at the door. That didn’t work.
He then threw his body against the door and then kicked it, all to no avail.
Bell lastly tried a different tactic: begging. He even dropped to his knees.
“Please! Please! Please!” he yelled to people outside the store. “I’m sorry, please! Help, please!”
Houston police arrived quickly and arrested him.
At the time of his arrest, Bell was on probation for an aggravated robbery he committed in 2015.