Dumb Robber Tells Employees, Call my cell when you get the safe open.

Cell Phone Number Helps Police Catch Dumb Thief

WGN Report
CHICAGO, IL -- Chicago police said a would-be thief made an unusual request of store employees, which later proved to be his undoing.

Police said Tuesday when the 18-year-old man couldn't get any money from an automobile repair shop, he left.

Before leaving Velasquez and Sons Mufflers For Less, though, he asked that the employees call him back when someone could open the safe.

The 18-year-old man, who was not identified, received the call, but didn't get the money.

The employees of the muffler shop said the man, who they said they had never seen before, held a manager at gunpoint Monday morning, and asked for all their money shortly after they opened the shop.

"He pushed me against my truck, he pushed something in my back, I didn't know what was going on and asked me for money," said manager Jose Sida.

Tony Diaz, one of the store's employees, said Sida told the man that they only had between $20 to $30 on them, to which the man replied, "I want big money."

When the employees told the would-be robber that they did not have access to the safe, they told him that the manager would be in later, and that he had access to the safe.

The employees said they never expected the thief to do what he did next.

"He said, 'If you don't have any money right now, it's all right,'" Diaz said. "'I'll give you my number and you call me back when you have money.' He called back, and we thought the numbers weren't real. And it was a real number, and he is who he is."

The employees called police with their story, and two plainclothes officers greeted the man inside when he returned for the money he thought would be waiting for him.

"I never thought he was going to come back," Diaz said.

Police said they were having a hard time believing the story as well.

They confirmed that the officer identified himself at the shop and shot the man when he showed his gun.

The teenager was shot once in the leg, police said, and no one else was injured.

The shop's employees said they were still wondering what was going through the 18-year-old's mind.

"It's pretty funny now, but it wasn't at the time," Diaz said.