September 17, 2014

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Lorain armed robbery caught on security camera

LORAIN — Police are hoping video footage of a Saturday night robbery, in which a man accosted an off-duty, armored-car guard at gunpoint while snatching cash from a store, will lead to an arrest.
And while detectives continue to try to identify the suspect, the guard said he feels fortunate just to be alive.
“He thought I was a Lorain police officer, because of my uniform,” said Todd Schill, 45, of Lorain, a longtime armored-car guard who also runs a security business. “He said, ‘How’s it feel to die, cop?’ ”
The video was captured by cameras at Chapman’s Grocery on G Street, where the incident occurred shortly before 10 p.m.
Schill said it’s been part of his usual routine for some time: Stop at Chapman’s on Saturdays after work and pick up a slice of pizza and chat with the clerks.
He never encountered any problems until Saturday.
The first few minutes of the video show Schill standing at the counter talking to the clerk, but then a man barges into the store pointing a silver handgun at Schill, who is turned away from the door.
“He comes in brandishing the pistol like a gangbanger,” Schill said, referring to the angle at which the suspect is holding the gun.
He said the suspect’s entry left no time to react.
“As I was pulling my gun, he already had (his) up on my head,” Schill said.
The video shows the suspect placing the gun to Schill’s head and ordering him to the ground; the suspect then takes Schill’s handgun and handcuffs from his utility belt and orders another customer to handcuff Schill, who was on the floor.
Schill, who has a 5-year-old child, said the only thought on his mind was that Father’s Day was the next day.
“I kept trying to talk to the guy,” Schill said. “My main goal was to keep everybody calm.”
Schill said that it seemed like the suspect was “hurting for drugs.” On the video, the suspect can be seen kicking Schill at least once while he was on the ground.
The video also shows the suspect taking cash from the register before fleeing through the front door. Schill said other witnesses saw the man hanging around the garbage bin just before the incident.
“I’d like to catch him,” Schill said.
The suspect was a dark-skinned male wearing a half-mask over his face, as well as tan shorts, a gray hoodie, white gloves and black tennis shoes. He was about 5-foot-8 and had a medium build. His most distinguishing characteristic was a large leg tattoo that extended from his knee to ankle.
Anyone with information can call Lorain police detectives at (440) 204-2105.
Contact Shawn Foucher at 329-7197 or sfoucher@chroniclet.com.

062107robber.jpg
courtesy of Lorain police
A robber points a gun at security guard Todd Schill and a customer in this image taken from the store’s security camera.