SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The owner of an Oak Park market fought back against a clown mask-wearing robber, chasing the armed suspect from the store within seconds and snagging an important clue for investigators.
Surveillance video showed the encounter between 80-year-old Baldev Dhillon and the unidentified suspect unfold quickly inside Dhillon’s business on the 4000 block of 12th Avenue, clearly showing the suspect aim a gun at Dhillon as he stepped into the store.
Dhillon’s entire family, including two young grandchildren, was inside the store as the robbery took place.
“My legs were shivering,” said 11-year-old Hirdayjot Dhillon.
As the robber closed in on the store owner, Baldev hardly flinched before grabbing for the gun and throwing the suspect off balance. The suspect backpedaled quickly as Dhillon pressed his counter-attack and then fled altogether as the store owner grabbed the clown mask by its long dreadlocks, yanking the mask off his head.
Family members said they heard the click of the trigger as the robber tried to shoot, but the gun never fired.
Police believe the suspect is the same man who robbed two stores on January 19 while wearing the same mask. Shots were fired in both incidents, but no injuries were reported.
Bikram Dhillon, the son of the business owner, said he isn’t surprised his father jumped into action so quickly — he served as a police chief in India for 30 years.
“If somebody threatens his family, he will fight,” Bikram said.
A witness chased the unmasked suspect to a light blue sedan and described the man as a Hispanic adult.
The Sacramento Police Department asks anyone with information on the suspect to call Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP (4357) or text in a tip to 274637 (CRIMES). Enter SACTIP followed by the tip information. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.