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Construction crew slams robbery suspect

8:33 AM, Jul 29, 2013   |    comments
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BELLEVILLE, Ill. -- Some construction workers are being called heroes tonight after they helped nab a suspected robber.

It happened at The Town and Country Liquor and Food Mart in Belleville.

Joyce Mueller says while the incident showed her there are some bad people in this world, at the same time, it also taught her a lesson in human kindness.

"There are some good people out there," said Mueller.

She was robbed Thursday afternoon while working at the store. It all started around 1:30 when 58-year-old Charles James Jr. walked into the store wearing a winter hat. Mueller says she knew something wasn't right.

She recognized the man and says he has frequented the store a few times before.

When the two were in the store alone he asked Mueller to get something from inside a case.

"I went over to the case. I squatted down, slid the door open, reached in and when I reached in I felt an arm around my neck and he got real close to my ear and he said 'I got a gun and I will blow your head off if you don't go over there and open the cash drawer," said Mueller.

She says he took all the cash and left.

Mueller says she screamed so the three people in the parking lot went after him.

Terry Bowman, a regular customer, alerted the construction workers nearby who surrounded him and held him down until police arrived.

Now Charles James Jr. is charged with aggravated battery. He is being held at the St. Clair County Jail. His bail is set at $250,000.

Now Mueller has a message for all those who helped, "Thanks a whole lot and I hope lunch will be on us one day this week."


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