WEBMASTER'S NOTE: While I can't confirm this narrative, the video speaks for itself. This is one lucky trainee....jm
On December 9th, 2009, at 1702 hours, San Dimas Station received a 9-11 hang up from a payphone in front of the 7 Eleven store on Azusa Avenue at Gladstone Street. The Desk attempted to re-contact the caller, but there was no answer. At 1706 hours a training car was dispatched to the "927H" (the call did not indicate a "7-Eleven" store, just a payphone at an address). The training car arrived in about one minute and surveilled the store and surrounding area, noting nothing unusual. The deputies watched the 7 Eleven in particular for a couple of minutes, seeing customers entering and leaving the store without incident. The Training Officer elected to stand in the parking lot just outside the store while the Trainee went inside to check with the clerk - this was to allow the Training Officer to watch the parking lot and neighboring stores, while the Trainee went inside the store to determine if it was even part of the problem. Remember - This is a 911 hang-up. There was NO indication, nor information, of a robbery at this store, or of any other problem. Approximately 8 minutes had gone by from the time of the 911 hang-up to the time the Trainee entered the store.
When the Trainee enters, she stands just inside the doorway, scanning left and right for problems, with her hand on her gun. Her view of the suspect and his gun are obstructed by items on the counter, and his physical position (as you can see in the video, the suspect is keeping the gun very low). Again, the Trainee did not have any information that she should concentrate her view onto this individual as opposed to the other 6 customers still in the store. Further, the clerk does not appear frightened, further eliminating the opportunity for the Trainee to have any clue as to what is occurring.
While this circulated video has been scaled back to only show the robbery, the original version clearly shows customers going in and out of the store after the deputies have gone "97". Also, after the suspect flees, other customers come into view who were in the store at the time of the robbery, and were also the focus of the Trainee.
The 911 hang-up is believed to have been made by a transient who regularly loiters in front of the store and may have seen the suspect exit a van with the gun.
The van was driven by a second suspect who fled when he saw the black and white arrive. Detectives are working on information to identify and locate the second suspect.
The suspect was ultimately apprehended about an hour later hiding in an apartment. His gun, which he tossed while running, was also recovered.