STOCKTON (CBS13) – A donut shop in Stockton was robbed at gunpoint this morning. But the store owner says his pricey mascot was what the robber was after.

At around 5 a.m. Thursday, German Beltran, the night shift manager at Yum Yum Donuts, was helping a customer when he saw a man outside trying to take a large statue of a robot. The man then tried to take a smaller lion statue sitting nearby.

“Me and this other guy were about to beat him up. “What’s your problem? Give me the lion back,’ ” said Beltran. “It’s a pretty big lion, and then he’s like ‘you know what, I got a gun.’ ”

The suspect then pulled out a gun and pointed it at the two. Beltran and the customer backed off and let the suspect take the lion.

“Just see my life flash before my eyes, I didn’t think it was going to be that extravagant. It was pretty rough,” Beltran said.

The suspect then drove off with the lion, but not before Beltran was able to get a good look at the license plate number to tell police.

“They’re like ‘what’s going on?’ I’m like, ‘can you just take this license plate number. It’s a white Chevy pickup truck,’ ” Beltran told police.

The stolen mascot is worth around $1,500 and was specially made for the store.

“Why would someone do that? It’s just a piece of metal, probably a prank or something they’re trying to do,” employee Giovanni Ortiz said.

Ortiz, who is also Beltran’s roommate, couldn’t believe the news.

“My heart was just rushing cause, I mean, I thought about his mom. I was like ‘wow, if his mom finds out about this, she’s going to be scared and tell him you should get out of there and not work there anymore. It’s not safe for you there,’ ” said Ortiz.

The owner says if the person who stole the lion returns it, then no charges will be pressed.

Investigators are now looking at the surveillance video provided by the doughnut shop.

The suspect is described as white and in his mid-40s. He drove away in a white Chevy pickup truck.


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