CHICAGO (CBS) — Only two days after he and his brother opened a new coffee shop in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, Vova Kagan came face-to-face with a man trying to rob them. The robber apparently didn’t count on Kagan noticing his gun was a fake.
On April 9, a man walked into Sputnik Coffee two minutes after it opened, and told Kagan “give me the money.”
“I made the mistake of offering him a cup of coffee, because I thought he was a customer,” said Kagan. “Turns out he was kind of holding the handle of a toy gun, and I pointed at our surveillance cameras. I’m like, ‘It’s probably not a good idea to rob us.’”
Security video from the coffee shop at 51st and Hoyne shows the robber holding the toy gun in his right hand.
Kagan said he called 911, and the man tried to steal the store’s iPad, and then reached for the cash register. That’s when Kagan fought back, despite getting punched before the man ran outside with the cash register.
“He ran off in the alley, and I went back with the cash register,” Kagan said. “It was just frustrating.”
The man didn’t get away with anything, but Police were hoping the video helps them find the suspect.
Meantime, Kagan said officers have been great about checking in on the store.
Adding a couple more security cameras helped as well.
Kagan said he would fight back again if someone else were to try to rob the coffee shop.
“I mean you kind of have to. If you tell people that they can just come in and take your money, it’s not only your business at stake, it’s all the other businesses in the community,” he said.
Kagan said he’s not sure how he would have responded if he had thought the suspect’s gun was real.
The coffee shop he and his brother own had been open only two days before the robbery. The brothers said they’ve had no issues since.
Police said anyone with information about the robbery attempt should contact Area Central detectives at 312-747-9227.