#Throwback Thursday: A Robber's Master Plan Leaves Him Trapped in a Phone Store 'Til the Cops Come Calling

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Texas Rangers’ Hanser Alberto (2) leaps to high-five Ronald Guzman (67) after Guzman’s home run during the fourth inning against the Kansas City Royals in a baseball game Friday, May 25, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)


A great story is timeless.

Not so long ago, a small Houston cell phone store was overtaken by a man with a gun and a sure sense of authority.

A surveillance camera caught it all: He swaggered in, pulled out his loaded instrument of death, and gave some cool orders:

“Open the register. Open it up. Open it. Open it now.”

A mother with her baby hurried outside.

But something happened the intruder clearly didn’t expect.

As the man cruised behind the counter instructing his victim, the store owner’s wife told the cashier, “No. Don’t open it.”

Hadn’t she heard? That’s not how a robbery’s supposed to work.

Shortly after, Counter Girl hoofed it out.

Ms. No then did something fascinating: She exited and locked the door behind her.

Suddenly, the guy who’d come into the room to own it was a sucker on display: There he stood, in the little glass case of the shop, from which there was no clear exit.

And he couldn’t get into the register.

But he was a young, strong guy; surely he could force open that door.

A push didn’t work.

He looked around.

“F***, I’m stuck.”

Next: a 360 survey…

“I’m stuck in this building.”

Hey — he’s got a hand cannon.

Look out, world — the hooded gunslinger’s bustin’ through.


He pointed his gun at the door, right up close.


No dice.


And again.


Those high-powered projectiles didn’t work. But how about a kick?

Negative, Ghostrider.

He began to discuss the situation with…himself.

“F***. I’m going to jail, bro.”

Himself must’ve replied, “Naw, man. Just run fast into the door and use your bones and flesh as a battering ram. That’s guaranteed to work. Just like how you can run through other things bullets can’t penetrate. Like basement walls and bank safes. You know how physics works. You got this. It’s just like how you can fly and shoot lasers from your eyes.”

He runs…he hits…


Maybe he just needs to hit it hard enough to break his shoulder?


A running kick?


Wait — I know: a standing kick. Don’t waste all that energy on the sprint.

Still…no cigar attained.

After running straight into the door again, Mr. Big Pants entertained a different approach: begging to people outside.

“Please. Please — I have nothing. Please. Please.”

Then he took to his knees, hands clasped in the air.

“Please. Please. Please.”

Watching the video, it kinda makes you wanna help the guy — except for the fact that he’d entered a place he didn’t own, given orders not his to give, tried to take what belonged to someone else…and was poised to commit murder in the process.

But other than that, the poor fella was a victim:


“Please. I have nothing. Please. I’m sorry! Please!”

Finally, he turned to a higher power:

“Please. God. Help, please.”

He shook the bars. “Help, please.”

Cut to: him stuck in the “Y” pose from the Village People’s biggest hit.

In this case, YMCA stood for “You’re Most Certainly Arrested.”

And he was.

The next words:

“Get your hands up! On the ground!”

Later, the incident’s door-locking lady in charge — Katrina Leon — recounted to ABC News:

“As soon as he entered and he just pointed the gun at at me, and I knew instantly I’m getting robbed again, but this time I didn’t open the cash register. I just locked him in, because when you lock the door outside, from the inside you can’t open it, so I knew he wasn’t going to be able to open it.”

Just a week before Christmas, John Bell pleaded guilty to the April 17th, 2017 aggravated robbery.

He was sentenced to five years.


When this robbery happened, Bell was out of jail on probation for a different aggravated robbery case in which he had already been sentenced for 12 years. That robbery happened on July 31, 2015.

Since he was stuck in a cell phone store, perhaps he’d have done better to’ve signed himself up for a new plan and called for help. Or an attorney. Or someone to tell him how to disconnect the security camera.

Fortunately, he did not. And now, the world will enjoy his fantastic installment of Best Criminals for all eternity (find more excellent episodes below).


Thank you, Mr. Bell. You’re part of Phone History — right up there with Alexander Graham.

And on this #ThrowbackThursday, I dedicate a song to you:



See 3 more pieces from me:

13-Time Felon Accidentally Shoots Himself in the Testicles While Carrying Drugs in His Anus – As You Do

Man Attempts Armed Robbery, Accidentally Gives His Victim the Gun (Video)

It’s Hilariously Awesome and You Have to See It: A Robber Hits a Kentucky Restaurant Where the Only Two Customers Are Both Armed (Video)

Texas Homeowner is Faced with an Armed Robber, Takes the Crook’s Gun Away and Shoots Him with It

Criminally Bright: Robbers Try to Outsmart a Masked World by Wearing Watermelons On Their Heads

Find all my RedState work here.

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