Saturday , May 25 2024

Deputies Search For Man Who Robbed Store Employee at Gunpoint

Fresno County Sheriff’s deputies are searching for a masked man caught on surveillance video robbing an employee at gunpoint at a southwest Fresno convenience store.

It happened Friday at the Valentine Market on Valentine and Church.

Surveillance video captures the intense moment when the masked man entered the store, pointed a gun and demanded money.

That suspect came face to face with Mohamed Ali, the employee behind the register.

"All of a sudden, you see this man walking in and all quiet, and all of a sudden, as soon as he approaches the cashier, he just pulls out his pistol," said another employee, translating for Ali.

Fortunately, no one was hurt. Ali said four employees and two customers were inside the Valentine Market at the time.

"There was actually a customer up at the register buying some items at the time," said Tony Botti, public information officer for the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. "You could see it scared her pretty good, and she got out of there."

"The two workers that were working at the taqueria in the back in the deli, they just went inside the freezer hoping not to be noticed," Ali said.

Ali’s life was in danger–with the robber pointing a gun to his head demanding money, Ali gave him what he wanted.

"The cashier actually handled it very well–put his hands up, allowed the suspect to grab what he needed," Botti said.  

The video shows another employee walking up trying to confront the robber. That employee said he was in shock, and didn’t know what to do.

But law enforcement suggest never trying to intervene when a suspect is armed.

"As the suspect was leaving, he pointed the gun at another employee–very bold fashion," Botti said.

Surveillance video in the parking lot shows the man running away. Deputies said witnesses saw the man leaving in a dark blue BMW sedan.

Witnesses describe him as being a black man, anywhere from 5’6" to 5’11", weighing 180 to 200lbs.

Anyone with information should call the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office or Crime Stoppers at 498-STOP to stay anonymous.

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