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Store employee convinces robber to put gun away

Store employee convinces robber to put gun away

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The owner of a local store that was robbed says they have surveillance cameras and special training to deal with shoplifters, but this time was different.

Yesterday, around 11:30 a.m. a woman entered the JB Distribution Market on 1422 S. Redwood Rd., gathered some clothing and attempted to leave without paying for the merchandise.

A Loss Prevention Officer stood in front of the doors to prevent her from leaving when her accomplice, Noel Viorato, pulled a gun on the officer and ordered him to let the girl out.

"My employee said, ‘He showed me the gun. He said 'move out, or we shoot you,'" owner Juan Bastidas said.

Lara Jones, with Salt Lake City Police Department, says that's when the employee did something unique. "He said to him in essence, ‘Really? You are really going to be that stupid?' And he put the gun down. And they were able to keep him in the store until police arrived," Jones said.

The woman is still missing. A loaded gun was recovered. Viorato was arrested for aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a restricted person.


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Mary Richards


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