Would-be robber forced to flee after Chicago business owner takes his gun

A Chicago business owner turned the tables on a suspect during an alleged armed robbery after noticing a malfunction with his firearm and reacting from an “emotional place, not a particularly logical place.”

(Video: ABC7)

James Suh is the owner of the Car Care Auto Spa in Portage Park, a community on the northwest side of Chicago. On October 12, he experienced something that had never happened in ten years of running his business. While working after store hours on a conference call an armed suspect approached him and demanded, “Give me all your money.”

Recounting his tale to ABC7, Suh explained how he had been caught off guard and as he tried to de-escalate the dangerous situation, noticed an opportunity to act. “He kinda like tries to rack his gun and it looked to me like it got jammed or the slide was locked back.”

The owner explained his decision was “made like from a very emotional place, not a particularly logical place, but I just reached out and tried to grab it from him.”

Suh can be seen coming out from behind his counter pursuing the suspect to the door where he managed to take the weapon away as the unidentified individual fled the premises. “Once I had it out of his hand, I just wanted to…shove him back,” he explained, “…and then he just goes off running off.”

While police have been unable to track down the suspect in the alleged armed robbery, the owner went on to recount how this was the second nearly committed crime against his business in as many weeks.

“The prior week someone was trying to steal a car from here. And in ten years’ time that’s never happened and all of a sudden within two weeks’ time we have two of these major incidents going on and yeah, you just kinda have to wonder what’s going on around here,” he told the outlet.

As crime has increased, progressive policies have been singled out as responsible for the uptick and across the state of Illinois residents are bracing for potential “anarchy” as portions of Gov. JB Pritzker’s (D) Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today (SAFE-T) Act are expected to go into effect in January.

While police cautioned business owners from taking matters into their own hands as Suh did, prohibitions in the law, particularly the Pretrial Fairness Act portion of the legislation, have left Orland Park mayor Keith Pekau, warning, “I think we can project that if criminals are allowed to run free and police officers can’t protect citizens, citizens are going to start protecting themselves and take the law into their own hands.”

“It’s unfortunate because it’s just this risk of doing business and it seems like that risk is going up,” Suh said.

According to ABC7, Bubble Bath Auto Shop, a nearby business, also has dealt with recent crime as a car was stolen from their location two week ago.

In speaking with NBC 5, Suh also said, “This guy, he was clearly not a professional; he didn’t know what he was doing. I don’t know what his circumstances are. Maybe he felt like he was desperate and he had no choice but to go out and do this.”

If put in the situation again, Suh said he “would probably just comply and just give him the money because it’s not worth it.”


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