View Full Version : Armed Store Owner Allows Robbers to Flee

February 6, 2006, 10:00 AM
This is a story from the "The Union" newspaper in Nevada City, CA.

If you were the store owner, would you have allowed the BG's to escape?

Teens sought in store robbery

3 youths reportedly used guns during Camptonville theft

By Robyn Moormeister
February 2, 2006

Three men who reportedly robbed the Lost Nugget Market in Camptonville at gunpoint Wednesday afternoon may still be in the area, said the Yuba County Undersheriff Wednesday.

The men are described to be in their late teens, all with black hair and brown eyes, and driving a light blue Chevrolet Astro van.

"They were last seen southbound on Highway 49," said Yuba County Undersheriff Steve Durfor. "We are monitoring the highway and the surrounding area."

The men used an automatic handgun to take approximately $600 from store owner Randy Rizzo at the store on the 16000 block of Highway 49.

No one was hurt in the robbery, and no shots were fired, Durfor said.

Store co-owner Randy Rizzo said the men appeared to be observing the store for "a while" from their van parked outside before they entered the store at approximately 12:40 p.m.

Rizzo said he could see the men with a camera positioned outside.

Two of the men reportedly went to a cooler and picked out some soda before joining the third man at the store's counter.

Rizzo said the men were speaking to each other in Spanish and that one man said in "broken English" he picked out the wrong soda, returned to the cooler, and got another soda.

When all three men had gathered at the counter, one pulled out an automatic handgun and pointed it at Rizzo.

"I thought it was a toy gun at first," Rizzo said. "I was about to tell him to put it away."

That's when the man said clearly, "Give me your money," Rizzo said.

"I was angry," Rizzo said. "I was so (mad)."

He said he opened the register and began slowly handing the men $20 bills. The men became impatient, however, and grabbed the rest of the money in the register.

Rizzo said as the men turned to leave, he contemplated shooting them with his own loaded revolver he keeps behind the store counter, but he thought he might get into trouble if he did.

Rizzo dialed 911 and was on the phone with the sheriff's office before the men were out of sight, driving south on Highway 49. He said this is the first time he has been robbed since he began running the store with his brother 19 years ago.

In a joint effort, Yuba County Sheriff's Office, Nevada County Sheriff's Office and California Highway Patrol units from Grass Valley and the Yuba/Sutter area patrolled the area extensively, searching for the suspects, Durfor said.

As a precaution, Pleasant Valley Elementary School in Penn Valley was put on temporary lock down by Nevada County authorities. Between 1:51 p.m. and approximately 2:30 p.m., no one was allowed to leave the school or enter the school.

Durfor said the suspects were never spotted by law enforcement Wednesday, though deputies familiar with the area will continue to search for the suspects.


To contact staff writer Robyn Moormeister, e-mail [email protected] or call 477-4236.


February 6, 2006, 10:09 AM
He did the right thing, once they were on the way out the door and no one was harmed it was over. He might not be "cool" or "tough" in some people's eyes but he did the smart thing. Especially if they had an "automatic handgun" (sarcasm added)

February 6, 2006, 10:11 AM
Good thinking on his part-Carrying is to protect your life,not your money..

February 6, 2006, 10:14 AM
I would think your first duty would be to protect customers, employees. bystanders and yourself. Opening fire and starting a gun battle would not have accomplished that. He made the right decision.

February 6, 2006, 10:15 AM
He probably would have gotten in trouble especially in Ca.

The time to arm himself was when he noticed them casing the place not after he was compromised.

February 6, 2006, 10:33 AM
What is he going to do, 3 against 1, they had the drop on him during the robbery, and shooting them in the back after the robbery is over, and his life was no longer threatened would have got him manslaughter charges.

February 6, 2006, 10:51 AM
The money isn't his, and they posed no specific threat to his life. He did the right thing.

February 6, 2006, 10:53 AM
"appeared to be observing the store " If he was aware of that he should have called 911 immediately !! Since he didn't he ended up doing the best thing Why does he bother with a gun ??

February 6, 2006, 11:17 AM
These three thugs can continue to rob until they are stopped or caught. Maybe the next time someone will be shot. Don't all responsible citizens have a duty to protect their fellow citizens?

I don't believe the store owner's actions were "right", but since he lives in CA they were probably prudent.

If this had happened here in Texas the owner has the legal authority to use deadly force to protect his property. Also, as long as the BG was brandishing a weapon the store owner's life was at risk.

I wish the headlines had read:

Three Armed Robbers Killed During Robbery

February 6, 2006, 11:19 AM
The better part of valor is discretion - Falstaff, from Henry IV Part One - Shakespeare

February 6, 2006, 11:21 AM
+1 mete.

I'm glad he's okay, but if he KNEW there was a suspicious situation, why on EARTH didn't he call 911? Jiminy Christmas, even if the sheriff had just shown up and got a cup of coffee it could have scared these yahoos off.

I have to agree. If he wasn't going to call for help, if he just stood there and didn't arm himself when he saw these guys casing the place, then no, he had NO RIGHT to shoot after the fact. He probably would get no-billed in Texas, but given that he did nothing at all that could have headed this off, he'd get an [email protected]@-chewing from the sheriffs or constables or both.

Sometimes, even people who CARRY are sheeples.


February 6, 2006, 12:02 PM
The money isn't his

Unless I'm mistaken, the guy is co-owner of the store, and so the money very much is his.

That being said, shooting them as they were leaving wouldn't be acceptable. I'm not sure calling 911 beforehand would have been the best idea, but he certainly could have called the non-emergency number when he noticed the guys sitting outside for a long period of time. He also could have moved his weapon to a more accesable position and been ready when the entered the store so they wouldn't have had the drop on him.

February 6, 2006, 12:49 PM
Its all been said, bout worth repeating. Wonder why he didn't call if he knew they were casing the place? Guess we'll never know. As far as shooting them, the only legal option there he had was to shoot the one holding the gun DURING the crime. Unfortunatly it was pointed at him at the time.....so he did well, and maybe saved his own life.....

The only thing that kills me about the story (besides scum-bag crooks), is the phrase used several times: "an automatic handgun". :barf:

The press and media will stop at nothing, including blatant lies and misinformation to discredit guns in general....:mad:

February 6, 2006, 02:48 PM
I like the outcome of this incident better than the one in the previous story. If you're keeping a handgun under the counter, USE IT!

Grocery store clerk turns tables on armed teens

WINSTON-SALEM — Three teenagers were arrested on charges they tried to rob a grocery store but fled after the clerk pointed a gun at them, police reported today.

On Sunday, Winston-Salem officers responded to a reported armed robbery at the Liberty Street Grocery at 4820 Old Rural Hall Road.

Employees said two people entered the store wearing masks. The clerk, Yong Bryant, told police one of the suspects pointed a handgun at her and demanded money.

Bryant removed her handgun from beneath the counter and pointed it at them, police said in a press release.

They then fled on foot.

A third suspect was outside and ran away with them.

Officers located all three matching descriptions employees provided near Grove Avenue. All three, age 16, ran when officers approached.

Timothy Neely was caught after a brief foot pursuit, police said.

Neely, 1475 Addison St., was charged with attempted armed robbery and resisting arrest.

On Wednesday, Christopher Dwayne Love, of 2240 Ivy Ave., and Patrick Earl Cox, of 4309 Grove Ave. Apt C, were charged with attempted armed robbery.

Both were already in custody regarding an armed robbery that occurred Sunday at 718 Essex Road, police said.

February 6, 2006, 02:57 PM
These three thugs can continue to rob until they are stopped or caught. Maybe the next time someone will be shot.
Perhaps. But can we justify killing somebody based on what they theoretically might do at some future point? You or I are just as capable of robbing or murdering as these three. The only difference is that these guys have done it before.

Jack Malloy
February 6, 2006, 03:00 PM
Even if they had an enhanced Castle Law where he lives, I don't think that it would cover him once the thugs turned their backs on him and left the property.
Whether you like it or not, shooting is only an option in active self defense....
And remember, this is a country where you can spill hot coffee in your own lap, or glue your own @$$ to a commode seat and sue somebody.
Civil Liability madness is only going to get worse thanks to liberal idiot judges.

February 6, 2006, 03:18 PM
The money isn't his, and they posed no specific threat to his life. He did the right thing.

I'll agree he probably did the right thing tactically, since they already had a gun on him, but since when does someone pointing a gun at you NOT pose a specifc threat to your life? :rolleyes:

February 6, 2006, 04:02 PM
They are bad guys. Armed and value life little enough to murder him him if he doesn't hand over his possessions to them.
Plug them first chance he got. Bad guys dead (that's right, dead. Who cares, they are killers and thieves). Won't be robbing anyone else or shooting anyone else including him. Stolen money saved. Police aren't destracted from other things by having to track down these animals or be on the lookout for them. (and as a bonus, court docket time isn't wasted having to fool with them) Problems solved.

Anyone with any common sense should see that.

February 6, 2006, 04:10 PM
Taking an awful chance that they won't shoot him whether he gives them the money or not. He seems to have made the right choice because IN THIS CASE it worked out - just as likely they shoot him and then we would have said he screwed up.

Tough call. He's lucky.

February 6, 2006, 04:31 PM
The robbers already had the drop on him by the time he realized what was going on. He lost his chance to protect the money the second a gun was pulled on him. Tactically, I'd say he did the smart thing by giving the situation time for him to analyze it.

From a legal standpoint, he'd have no legs to stand on once the robbers had turned their backs. That said, I'd have the gun ready to rock the second they turned, incase they turned to finish him off.

You can say "he should have called the cops when he saw they were casing the place" but that doesn't really help when they already have you in their sights.

February 6, 2006, 05:27 PM
The only thing that kills me about the story (besides scum-bag crooks), is the phrase used several times: "an automatic handgun"Maybe it was one of those new prototype auto pistols like a 1911A1, Beretta 92 or a Glock

Blackwater OPS
February 6, 2006, 09:11 PM
He played it the best way he could. Dangerous job, in several ways more so the LEO work. If he goes and call the cops everytime he see something odd, well, that won't play very well either. Nor is he in a position to draw first. Crap job.

February 6, 2006, 11:24 PM
Smart man, made the right decision. Money is replacable his life is not if a gun battle started.

February 7, 2006, 01:48 AM
In California he might have been prosecuted for doing the wrong thing even if they attacked him and forced him to shoot.

Jack Malloy
February 7, 2006, 10:15 AM
Unfortunately in the politically correct world we live in most folks who go to law school seem to be leaving their common sense at the door.

Glenn E. Meyer
February 7, 2006, 11:35 AM
You have to decide what is your priority.

You need to have the equipment and training to have options.

Then, in an incident - decide what outcome you want?

Is it to maximize your chance of not being hurt or is it to make a statement about law and order with the attendant risks of getting killed or hurt?

Easy to chest pound about being a coward, legalisms and cowardice on the Internet.

Since I've done the robbery scenario several times in FOF - I know it is a high probability I will get shot when the shooting starts. If I can get the robbers to leave without shooting me - that's fine. If I think I will be better off by shooting, I will.

That's common sense and not some baloney.