KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A routine trip to a Northland ATM went terribly wrong for one young couple – whose hearts were racing when a masked man wielding a gun demanded money as they tried to make a deposit.
The interaction, which escalated when the victims tried to fight back, happened at the busy Bank of America ATM off Northeast Vivion Road around 9:30 at night.
“There was a caravan right next to me, when they left, some white dude with a mask came over and pointed a gun to my head,” recalled Gary, one of the victims.
It was a jarring moment for the 19-year-old and his girlfriend, who have visited the same ATM countless times without any issues.
“Some white truck pulls in behind me,” Gary said, “I thought it was just another person. But turns out it wasn’t.”
Instead, it was an armed robber who hopped out of the passenger's side of his getaway car, intent on stealing fast cash.
“He said, ‘Give me your money!’” Gary said. “‘I’m not playing. I’m going to shoot you.’ Pointed the gun to my girlfriend, said, ‘I’m going to shoot you. Give me your phone.’ Then [he] grabbed my wallet.”
Gary cooperated and tried to keep his cool but, “You`re freaking out inside because you’re like, ‘Oh crap, I might get shot.’ You don’t know if he has a bullet in the chamber or a full magazine, you just never know.”
It was a fear that ignited action, as Gary hit the gas to drive away. The robber ran back to his getaway truck, but not before Gary made the quick decision to loop back around and block them in.
“At first I was in my head,” Gary said, “but then I’m like, ‘You know what? I’m not going to let this guy go. I’m going to get his plate!’”
It was a license plate that his girlfriend memorized, before the robber and his driver backed into Gary’s car to take off down the street.
“He basically rammed into my front tire,” Gary said, “like the driver`s side tire and jetted off when I was trying to get people’s attention.”
“Front end damage, there’s no headlight, the bumper is ripped in half in the front, the fender is gone. The fender liner in the car, the front piece, that’s hanging off. My tire, the axle popped off and you can tell it’s offset. It’s bad and it doesn’t drive. I don’t know if the transmission is messed up or not.”
His car is now totaled, but Gary said he doesn't regret trying to stop the crook from escaping.
“If I drive away,” he said, “I know that he’s still in the world. That made me feel worse than actually trying to do something. So I wanted to do something there and then, while he was still here. I knew everything, like his plate, what car he had, so I risked my life to do it.”
Police later discovered the license plate on the robber's truck was reported stolen, so there have been no arrests yet.
Bank of America declined FOX 4’s request to get a copy of the surveillance video. However, a spokeswoman released this statement:
“The safety and security of our customers is paramount. We encourage customers to be vigilant of their surroundings at all times.”
The suspect is described as a white man in his 20s, wearing a black and white bandana, black shorts, blue gloves, and a black and white hoodie. He was traveling with another person, who was driving a white Ford F-150.
If you know anything, call Crime Stoppers at (816) 474-TIPS.