An 80-year-old store owner in Norco, California, who thwarted an armed robbery over the weekend is taking California politicians to task after the traumatic encounter.
Convenience store owner Craig Cope slammed politicians for being clueless about the escalating crime wave in California, referencing so-called bail reform, which has been criticized for allowing career criminals back on the streets to do more damage against innocent civilians.
“I’ll probably get on the wrong side of some people here, but, uh, the politicians,” Cope told FOX 11 on Tuesday, when asked what he would tell Californians fed up with the crime wave. “There’s people out there that are not the best of people … these people that continually get let out now — it’s been really bad the last year — those people, the majority of them, go right back to what they used to do. So the crime rate is escalating, and it’s gonna continue to escalate until they start putting the people away that are doing the bad things.”
To business owners similarly frustrated, Cope said the answer is not really to “do what I did,” but to “put some pressure on the politicians.”
“You can do what I did, but what you really need to do is put some pressure on the politicians, because they got no clue what’s really going on out here in the real world,” he explained. “I could start naming names, but there are a whole lot of them that are creating major problems for business owners, but for local law enforcement, they’re creating problems for them. I’m sure they’re risking their lives, taking people into custody to see them get let out with no bail. A lot of these guys are career criminals … they need to be locked up.”
The 80-year-old hero also had a blunt message for the “bad guys.”
“This isn’t a good place to pick,” he told FOX 11.
The Daily Wire detailed Monday that Cope reacted incredibly quickly when he realized his store was being targeted in an armed robbery. Surveillance footage shows that Cope fired at the first armed suspect who entered the store before anything else could happen, sending the would-be robber and the other men fleeing.
“He shot my arm off!” one of the armed suspects is heard yelling on obtained surveillance footage.
“He saw on the surveillance — he saw them coming out of the vehicle with weapons,” said Marnie Tapia, one of Cope’s employees.
“I’m proud to call him my boss,” Tapia said. “He makes us feel better about being here, you know.”
#WATCH: "He shot my arm off," cries would-be robber after 80 year old #Norco store owner shoots him with a shotgun. Four arrested, one remains in hospital. Store owner expected back at work. pic.twitter.com/i3LAVdv5WL
— Jeff Vaughn (@JeffVaughn) August 2, 2022
Related: ‘He Shot My Arm Off!’: 80-Year-Old Store Owner Unloads When Armed Suspects Attempt Robbery