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Police: Houston Robber Gets Locked Inside Store, Begs to Be Released

By Bowen Xiao

A thief in Houston, Texas, tried to rob a phone store before quick-thinking employees locked the crook inside by himself. And it was all caught on video.

The crime took place back on April. 17, 2017, but the footage was just released by the Houston Police Department on Wednesday, Jan. 3.

John Bell pled guilty to the crime and was later sentenced to five years in prison, just one week before Christmas Day last year, according to ABC13.

Footage depicts Bell casually strolling into the Latino Cell store on Hillcroft Avenue, Houston. A customer and employee were also seen on camera.

Bell then walked to the store counter and demanded someone to open the register.

“No,” a woman said in the video. She placed her hand on her hip calmly.

“Open the register. Open it now,” Bell repeated before walking out of the camera frame.

John Bell. (Houston Police Department)

It was at that moment when two workers—and a customer pushing a baby stroller—ran out of the store and locked the door behind them. Just 30 seconds later Bell realized what had happened.

“I’m stuck in this building,” Bell said, before taking his gun out and shooting the lock on the door four times. But the door would not budge.

In the next few minutes, Bell can be seen trying to kick down the door and ram it as he continually cursed.

He then resorted to begging on his knees to strangers outside so they could unlock the door for him. But they all walked away.

WARNING: Some viewers may find the language in the raw footage offensive. 

Around six minutes into the video Bell can be seen putting up his hands, giving up. About a minute later officers arrived at the scene, opened the door and handcuffed Bell as he lay on his stomach.

At the time of the robbery, Bell was already out of jail on probation for another aggravated robbery case where he had been sentenced to 12 years, ABC13 reported. That robbery took place back on July 31, 2015.

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