Three men wearing scarves held customers and employees at a local convenience store at gunpoint. (WRDW-TV)
News 12 at 11 o'clock / Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Robbers told a clerk and customers at an Augusta convenience store to "Pull your pants off!"
Three men wearing scarves around their faces entered JR's Stop and Shop on MLK Boulevard Saturday around 8:30 p.m.
A man who was in the store when it happened told News 12 all seven victims did as they were told.
"'Cause when someone points a gun at you, you going to do what they tell you to do," said a victim who didn't want to be identified.
James Riles, also known as JR, has owned the store for 30 years. In all those years of business, he's only been held up twice -- a pretty good percentage, but he says he'd love to see a lower number.
"Uh, we rather have zero," Riles said.
The three suspects took money, jewelry and cars. The one with the gun even said he was willing to take lives.
"Don't nobody move, because you don't want me to make this a homicide," said a victim, quoting the robber.
Since opening his doors for business in 1983, JR has become well known for his famous sausage dogs, and more importantly, for how much he gives back.
"Mr. JR, he helps out a whole lot of people. A whole lot of people in the community," said a customer.
Once a year, JR throws a block party for the neighborhood kids to inspire them to continue to do well in school and not fall into a life of crime. Despite the robbery, he says he still believes in his neighborhood and doesn't plan on changing a thing.
"Well you can't hold that against the community. Everybody is not the same. People need to try to help anybody they can," Riles said.
He also has a message for those who robbed him and anyone who is thinking about robbing others in the future.
"There's really no future in trying to take anything. If you want to do anything, try and make a living for yourself," Riles said.
And even though this longtime customer isn't ready to appear on camera or identify himself, he says he'll still come to JR's for the good company and good food.
"Them sausage dogs swinging," said the customer.