Identity Of Masked Robber-Arsonist Surprises Store Owner

CHICAGO (CBS) — A masked man tried to rob a Morgan Park neighborhood store this week — not with a gun or a knife, but a can of gasoline.

Police say he doused the place and some of its workers with fuel, and then threatened to set it all on fire. But the owner, his nephew and a security guard stopped him.

That’s when the true shock — and disappointment — set in, CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman reports.

A day on the job at Morgan Park Food turned nasty Thursday afternoon when the masked man walked in with a gas can. He started to pour gasoline all over the shop and threw it on people inside.

“He said ‘This is a stick up, give me the money,’ and then he took a lighter and said, ‘Give me the money,’” owner Haytham “Steve” El-Zeibaq said.

Store operators say the man was ready to set fire to the place if they didn’t hand over the cash.

The register was knocked to the floor. When the robber went to get the money, his intended victims tackled him.

News traveled fast about the incident, upsetting customers.

“Oh, my God. I was really, really upset because these are good people, nice people. They help anyone who comes in,” customer Lillian Holmes said.

It turns out, the owners say, they previously helped the man police arrested. The suspect’s name is Thomas Hughes Jr.

“Sometimes he says ‘I’m hungry.’ I give him some food for free,” El-Zeibaq said.

The owner says his customers are like his family. They call him “Steve.” He said he would have given the suspect anything he wanted.

  • Skip.

    Only wish the store owners had been armed.

    Then they could have just put a cap in this losers *ss and end of story.
    Now, we’ll be paying $35,000.00 + a year!

  • Taxpayer 2

    Our laws need be revised immediately. Time to get tough with all criminals in our society. No more puppy love.

    Do not continue to used tax payers monies on these criminals. Take this man somewhere and douse him with gasoline and then set him on fire.

    He would not be able to think twice about his stupid action, because he would be dead.Case close. NEXT!!

    • Alex

      I agree, no more puppy love. It’s time to put all of these little ni@@ers in prison where they belong. Good post homie.

  • We Are One

    You might be onto something @Taxpayer. The bible does say an eye for an eye. The offense committed against others should be done to the offender.

  • Jesse

    The comment about the bible stating an eye for an eye is true, however that was the old testimont. during moses years. The new testiment was inspired by Jesus who came to improve the word by replacing some of the jewish laws with, if some one slaps you than turn the other cheek, thats one of the reasons jesus was hated, the jewish people could accept a stranger to them trying to change the law of moses, so again an eye for an eye was only a jewish law at the time that was implemented by moses for the jewish people it wasnt in the commandments. So you have to go by jesus law who is king of of all kings.

    • NWA

      Jesse, you rock man!

      “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her”


      • Anonymous

        Hi, Nig!

    • Glen

      Jesse, save your bible babble for church, you do not rock by a long shot!

  • Rick

    Jesus WAS Jewish, so how does that jive with your anti semetic brain?

    • Eloise

      He was also a carpenter.

      • Brent

        Yeah and he was born in a manger.

  • Jamall

    Yeah and ugly too.

    • Dean

      That is one ugly ni@@er!!!!!

  • Mr. Justice

    NOW WAIT A SECOND……..Where is Mayor Daley and that ignorant priest Pfleger who get up and want more gun control?????? WE MUST TAKE AWAY ALL GAS CANS FROM THE PUBLIC, MATTER OF FACT, LET’S JUST STOP SELLING GASOLINE AS IT CAN BE USED TO BURN PEOPLE. See how silly that sounds? We do not need gun control. We need to allow the “law abiding” citizens of Illinois the right to carry firearms. Too bad the store owner or manager wasn’t armed. If that had been my store, I would have put two .45 rounds into the chest of the suspect. Case closed, bad guy gone, no more crime from him, and saved the tax payers alot of money.

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