Caught on camera: 80-year-old store owner shoots would-be robber
RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif. (KCAL/KCBS) - A man armed with what looked like an assault rifle was no match for the owner of a Riverside County convenience store, and the frightening face off was all caught on the store's security cameras.
"It's not his first rodeo," said a woman named Marnie, who works for the store's owner, 80-year-old Craig Cope. "He saw on the surveillance, he saw them coming out of the vehicle with weapons."
The attempted robbery happened at around 2:45 a.m. Sunday.
When Cope saw the would-be robbers entering the store, he whipped out a shotgun strategically placed behind the counter and shot one suspect in the arm.
As the robbery suspect retreated, security cameras also captured him running back to a vehicle outside.
"He shot my arm off, he shot my arm off," he can be heard screaming.
The waiting suspects sped off in a black BMW X3, but not before almost leaving behind one of their own. Video shows the 80-year-old store owner watching his security cameras inside to make sure the men left.
"I'm proud to call him my boss," Marni told CBSLA. "He makes us feel better about being here, you know."
According to Marnie, Cope suffered a heart attack as a result of the traumatic series of events, but that he will make a full recovery and has already been saying he'd like to return to work. The 80-year-old has owned the convenience store since 1967.
As for the suspects, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department said all four of them showed up at a Southern California hospital. Three of them are now in jail. The suspect who was shot was still recovering.
"It saved his life, I think it did," Marnie said of Cope's newly installed hi-definition surveillance cameras.
The store owner put the new security system in place because of an uptick in convenience store robberies.
"The sheriff came in and warned me, about eight months or so, that this was going on and to keep an eye out and pay attention, be on your toes," Marnie told CBSLA's Jake Reiner.
Authorities also said that the BMW X3 was stolen and that deputies recovered numerous stolen firearms. The suspects, who were charged with robbery and conspiracy, are being held on $500,000 bail.
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