January 23, 2006
It’s hard not to fight back when you’re the victim of a crime. And that’s especially true for store owners who have a lot at stake. But is it worth it? Deputies say lately they’re seeing more people doing just that and it has officers concerned. On Monday there were two situations in which a store manager or employee tried to chase after a robber. News 12 picks up the story from there.
In the past four months, the Maxway Store in the Southgate Shopping Center has had more than 20 thefts and one manager is fighting back.
Some might say she’s crazy, but this store manager has had enough.
“This store here has very high theft, people come in all the time thinking they can get by,” said Angelina Schilling, Maxway manager.
Frustrated that most thieves won’t ever be caught, she’s decided to take matters into her own hands, unafraid of the dangers that may lie ahead.
“I noticed a couple of suspicious people trying to hide what they were doing,” Schilling said.
So she confronted them.
“I stopped in front of her and said do you mind if I look in your purse and she said no, that’s when she started beating on me,” Schilling said.
That’s when the suspect’s friend began hitting her, too.
“I was trying to hold her, he hit me and I ran after them and I got in my car,” Schilling said.
She continued to follow them as far as she could until police arrived.
“I know when they jumped the fence I thought, oh my God, they’re getting away,” Schilling said.
She admits it wasn’t the smartest move, but she’d do it all over again if she had to.
“I’ve been called a lot of things because we do stop a lot of theft but we don’t stop enough of it,” Schilling said.
She’s not the first person to brave an attack. An employee at the Express Cash Title Pawn on Peach Orchard Road also tried to chase after a possible armed gunman earlier today.
“When he left one of the employees followed him out. He jumped the fence behind the Post Office and ran toward a medical office,” said Investigator Greg Newsome, Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.
A response Major Ken Autry understands but does not recommend.
“Our deputies who are trained to do this quite often are injured so that alone should show you why citizens shouldn’t try,” Autry said.
If you can, get a tag number or a good description of the person, but police insist only to do so if you aren’t putting yourself in harms way.