Only On 11 News: Armed Robber Caught By Brave Citizens

By: Kendra Potter Email
By: Kendra Potter Email

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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by JC on Mar 12, 2012 at 09:26 PM
    Brian, to defend someone that puts a gun in someone's face to steal drugs, and does it twice in a couple of weeks, something is seriously wrong with you. Let's have someone put a gun in your face, not once but twice, and see if you still feel the same. If he had not been 'chased' down, I promise that be would have been back again. Brian, get a job and contribute to society!
  • by MJ Location: Pueblo on Mar 10, 2012 at 02:47 PM
    Brian, This robber doesn't even deserve a lawyer. Threatening innocent people w/a loaded gun? Maybe somebody should have put a choke hold on him earlier in life...he might not be a drug addict and robbing pharmacies for a living. You, Brian are what is wrong with society today. Run and hide.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 10, 2012 at 11:09 AM
    Hey Brian, Maybe if you're lucky someone will rob you at gunpoint and you can feel sorry for them.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 9, 2012 at 08:16 AM
    I kind of enjoy life. Wouldn't risk it for catching someone stealing pills. But that's just me. Give em what they want and live to enjoy another day.
    • reply
      by annoyed on Mar 12, 2012 at 12:10 PM in reply to
      You would "Enjoy" being held up at gunpoint for the second time in two weeks!!! Really, and just give them what they want?Really?He didn't just steal pills, he took a gun to innocent working people who WORK to support their families. Such a shame he has to go through the due punishment! He is awfully lucky to come out with some scrapes and bruises, having the balls to go back to a pharmacy without any conscience and without any thought about hmmmm do you think I might get hurt or shot or taken down for my selfish needs? He deserves all that he's endured and then some!!!!
  • by Kudos Location: COS on Mar 9, 2012 at 06:55 AM
    Kudos to the owner for being brave and taking a stance. Cops can't do it all, it also takes the citizens to make a safe city. Glad no one was hurt and the bad guy was caught!
  • by Brian Location: Amerika on Mar 9, 2012 at 03:47 AM
    Cue the crazies. Robber was outside the store. Choke hold administered outside the store. Implied admission of not being fearful of life while in the store. If this guy doesn't walk and sue the store, then his lawyer can't read. Be careful of this irresponsible journalism. If the criminal has exited your domicile or business, don't give chase or don't do interviews until you talk to your lawyer.
    • reply
      by BZ on Mar 9, 2012 at 08:18 AM in reply to Brian
      Show's how sad of a society we have become, but your post has merit. You are probably correct.
    • reply
      by Tony on Mar 9, 2012 at 05:17 PM in reply to Brian
      Doesn't matter. Parties made a citizen's arrest and used force necessary to take an armed suspect into custody no legal liability. How do we know force was reasonable? The arrested suspect suffered no injuries as a result of citizen's actions-no case.
      • reply
        by Brian on Mar 9, 2012 at 07:23 PM in reply to Tony
        Emotional pain and injury. Neck injury. Debilitating muscle pain in lower back. Soft tissue pain in knee. Constant headaches. Go ahead and try to prove reasonable force when a suspect is running away. Citizens arrest just won't cut it when there is no immediate threat. But hey, it is your life, your finances, and your time.
        • reply
          by Common Sense on Mar 10, 2012 at 06:52 AM in reply to Brian
          Good Job Brian....Scare the people into looking the other way if someone needs help or if a crime is committed against them. Bravo......I hope nothing ever happens to you where you have to rely on other peoples help, because they might just think like you and look the other way. I support everyone who stands up against crime.
        • reply
          by unknown on Mar 10, 2012 at 04:18 PM in reply to Brian
          Hey Brian how do you what injuries the robber suffered, is he YOUR dealer?
  • by Divided Location: COS on Mar 8, 2012 at 11:44 PM
    We have always been taight to give robbers what they want so that (hopefully)no one will get hurt. It seems that more and more citizens are taking matters into their own hands as crimes seem to be increasing.
    • reply
      by Greg on Mar 9, 2012 at 01:49 AM in reply to Divided
      Correct. We stopped calling the police on actively car burglaries because they just wouldn't come or it would take them an extended period of time. The next time I heard glass breaking I ran outside with my gun, followed by 2 of my neighbors and their guns. If CSPD can't stop the criminals in their own department as well as those mixed in with the citizens of Colorado Springs, then the citizens will.
      • reply
        by DJ on Mar 9, 2012 at 05:32 PM in reply to Greg
        While that's your choice and I don't blame you, knowingly putting yourself in a position to confront a criminal who is not posing a threat to a person just property is something to think about. The legal pitfalls of shooting someone outside your home over a property crime will likely subject you to a civil law suit and a lengthy drawn out process even if you prevail.
        • reply
          by Common Sense on Mar 10, 2012 at 06:23 AM in reply to DJ
          Protecting what's yours or trying to prevent crime does not automatically result in shooting someone. I wish more people would stand up and to the right thing.
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