WATCH: Armed robber begging, praying to be freed after worker locks him inside Houston cell phone store
HOUSTON — We all made at least one bad decision in 2017, but few of us were recorded.
Houston police released surveillance footage Tuesday showing a frustrated robber begging to be set free after an employee trapped the suspect inside a cell phone store.
In the video, the armed suspect — later identified as John Bell — casually walks behind the service counter inside Latino Cellular at 6710 Hillcroft Avenue just before noon on April 17.
[WARNING: The following video may contain language that is inappropriate for younger viewers.]
He tells an employee to open the cash register, but the woman refuses. Instead, she and the customers, including a woman wheeling a baby carriage, quickly leave the store and lock the door behind themselves.
When the would-be robber realizes he’s trapped, the situation becomes increasingly desperate as he searches for a way out.
“Oh, sh–! Oh, sh–!” the suspect tells himself.
Seconds later, the suspect is seen pulling out a gun and firing at the door lock but it doesn’t work. He then attempts to break through the burglar-barred door, ramming it with the side of his body.
He paces the floor for awhile until a passerby walks up to the window. The suspect begs the employee and stranger to free him, even falling to his knees with praying hands. In the video, he is heard apologizing several times.
Eventually, the police arrive and the suspect throws his hands up in surrender.
HPD said the suspect was taken into custody without incident.
On Dec. 18, he was sentenced to five years in prison for the attempted robbery. The department said the suspect was also on deferred adjudication for 12 years from an unrelated aggravated robbery that happened in July 2015.