FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) — A man entered Gustavo Tire Auto Repair on S. School Avenue in Fayetteville Saturday (April 1) morning brandishing a knife and demanding money.
The incident happened at 9:25 a.m., according to Fayetteville police.
The owner, who was there with one other employee, spoke with 5NEWS shortly after the incident.
“A person came to rob us, attacked us with a knife, stole money, threw and broke our computers in the office area,” owner Gustavo Soto said in Spanish. “The robber came in pretending to be interested in buying a tire, but when he started to go to the office with the tire I tried to persuade him to leave.”
When the man demanded cash Soto said he tried to explain to the suspect they had just opened the shop and didn’t have any sales yet.
“That’s when he hit me in the face and threatened to return with a gun and kill me if I didn’t give him money.”
Soto had $200 on his person and gave the money to the suspect.
Soto managed to call the police; he knew the surveillance cameras would show the suspect and that would help police.
By the time police arrived, the robber took off running and got into the back seat of a white Chevrolet Suburban or Tahoe that had a bicycle rack on the back.
Soto said the driver and the other front-seat passenger were women and that there may have been another man in the back seat.
The tire shop has been in business for about 10 years and Soto said this is not the first time he’s been victimized.
“About two years ago the same thing happened,” he said, “…and we were in peace until this morning.”
Soto said he was in fear of his life during the robbery and that this action goes against his moral principles.
“Mi gol es de no discutir con nadie y de tratar bien a los clientes.” Translated: My goal is to not argue with anyone and to treat customers well.
Police described the suspect as a black male, in his 40’s, approximately 5’11” tall and weighing about 150 pounds. He was wearing a black and white camouflage jacket with “LA” on the front chest.
If you recognize the suspect, or have any knowledge about this incident, you are urged to contact the Fayetteville Police Department at 479-587-3555.