Only On 11 News: Armed Robber Caught By Brave Citizens

By: Kendra Potter Email
By: Kendra Potter Email
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11 News is the only one to bring you surveillance video from an armed robbery. It took place inside a pharmacy, right before closing.

But the real story is not how it happened, but how it ended.

For the second time in three weeks, the same man with a mask and gun forces his way into JB Pharmacy off Northern Ave in Pueblo, demanding drugs.

“He stands there and kind of yells at you, and tells you to hurry up. He put his bag on the counter and told us to give him oxycodone, 30 mg,” said Jeanette Burns-Yengich, JB Pharmacy Owner.

It’s another heart pumping experience for still-recovering employees, who tried to stop him from getting in. Video shows he placed a gun to a female employee’s back as he made his way to the pharmacy counter.

"Emotionally it's hard to forget it, it's hard to just go past it, it's hard to go on,” said Burns-Yengich.

Emotions amplified for Burns-Yengich, whose 13-year-old son was in the robber’s path.

“I wished he [Jacob] wouldn't have been here, but at the same time, it was because of him we caught him,” said Burns-Yengich.

Without hesitation the two chased the armed robber around the back of the store.

“The guy stopped and turned on my son, and my son stopped and backed off. I don’t think he pointed the gun at my son, but acted like he was gonna throw it at him. That’s what my son said,” said Burns-Yengich.

Because of the robber’s pause, Burns-Yengich was able to gain distance.

“If he [Jacob] didn’t stop him, the rest of us would have not caught up to the robber. He would have gotten away again.”

Call it what you want: a coincidence, fate, or just good timing. But Burns-Yengich's parents' neighbor just so happened to be at the next door laundry mat. He recognized Jacob running and that's when he joined the chase.

"I saw Jacob but I didn't know what happened at that time. When I saw her [Jeanette] yelling 'help, help,' that's when I went outside and followed that guy,” said Jaime Mendoza.

Mendoza and Burns-Yengich together chased the man down the alley.

“I jumped on him and he went down to the ground, and I stayed on top of him, and the guy from the laundry mat had him in a choke hold,” said Burns-Yengich.

Now because of the brave actions of the trio, 25-year-old Joshua Woodward is behind bars.

“It's more anger than anything. You don't have time to think about what you are doing; you just react, react in the moment,” said Burns-Yengich.

Woodward was arrested for aggravated robbery of a controlled substance. Police say they recovered a handgun and a bag of oxycodone.

Officers also say Woodward admitted to robbing the same pharmacy February 17.

Burns-Yengich says chasing after an armed gunman was risky and that she regrets that her son was in harm’s way.

“It all just takes place so fast you don’t really think about what you’re doing, you just do it,” said Burns-Yengich.

But she is thankful that her son, Mendoza, and all her employees were unharmed. She says because Woodward robbed there before, she had some discernment about his character. She says he only takes a few bottles of pills, instead of a whole pharmacy full. She even gave him expired pills.

“He wasn’t intimidating. He wasn’t scary. He was more like a punk. You just wanted to grab him and set him straight,” said Burns-Yengich.

She hopes he can get the help he needs. As for her family’s pharmacy, they continually upgrade their surveillance system and are working to ensure a robbery like this doesn’t happen again. If it does, they will be ready.

Burns-Yengich hopes the more employees stand up to crooks, the more crooks will think twice before acting.

“These people that are doing this need to know that people are not gonna stand by anymore and let this happen,” said Burns-Yengich.

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