California Robbers Flee When Confronted by Armed Shopkeeper

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

Retail theft has become a huge problem in the Bay Area of California, with major chains closing stores because of organized groups of shoplifters stealing anything they can get their hands on. It’s not just big box retailers that are being victimized, however. Local businesses and independent retailers are being victimized, which is why 73-year-old Albert Marcu decided to start carrying his revolver with him while he’s on the clock at Estates Consignments in Pleasant Hill in Contra Costa County.


It was a wise decision, and it may very well have saved him and his employees from harm when a group of robbers, at least one of whom was armed with a sledgehammer, tried to pull a smash-and-grab at the store earlier this week.

Surveillance video shows a woman walking through the store. Marcu says she was a “scout,” scoping out all the security cameras while on the phone with the young men.

Video shows the woman walking out of the store and stalling, trying to keep the security guard from shutting the door to let her friends in.

But they force the door open and bum-rush their way inside. One guy is carrying a sledgehammer.

After a worker screams, Marcu makes his way to the jewelry section – as do the intruders.

Marcu pulls out his gun, a .38-caliber revolver.

The group scatters out of the shop..and climb into two Infiniti Q50s, one white, the other black.

But almost immediately, a Pleasant Hill police cruiser pulls up right behind them. KTVU has learned that’s because the white Infiniti is stolen and triggered a license plate reader alert.

Despite the quick police response, those IInfinitis took off, and the intruders escaped – Marcu says, perhaps with their lives.

“If they threaten my life or the life of my employees, I’lll use the gun, hundred percent,” he said.

I’d say Marcu did use his gun. He just didn’t have to pull the trigger. The presence of his firearm was enough to send the robbery crew running out the door, with Marcu and the shop’s employees unharmed. but if Marcu had left his revolver at home Monday morning there likely would have been a very different outcome. At the very least, the robbers would probably have gotten away with thousands of dollars in merchandise, but Marcu and the employees could easily have been harmed by one or more of the criminals in question.


While Marcu was able to protect himself and his employees from harm, anti-gun politicians in California are making it harder for other business owners and residents to do the same. In Contra Costa County, where this incident took place, the local sheriff has been accused of denying permits based on a supposed lack of “good moral character”, even when the applicant has never been arrested and has only minor traffic violations on their record.

Second Amendment attorney Kostas Moros reported on other issues with the sheriff’s licensing policies just a few weeks ago.

In addition to those “quirks”, the sheriff also prohibits single-action firearms from being carried, according to Moros. California is one of the few states that ties a specific firearm to a concealed carry license, a provision that I hope will be challenged at some point in the future.


Beyond the county-specific challenges, CalDOJ is trying to impose new “emergency” regulations on who can conduct the training classes necessary to apply for a carry permit; removing NRA-certified firearms instructors from the roster of approved trainers. If other retailers want to carry a firearm like Marcu, they’re going to have a hard time finding anyone who’s authorized to provide the training mandated by the state; a move that will benefit California criminals while making it nearly impossible for some residents to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense.


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