ROGERS PARK — A busy pre-Valentines shopping day ended in terror for an employee at Rogers Park Provisions who was robbed and punched Saturday evening before being left in the bathroom and told to "count to 40," the store's owner said Monday.
Erik Archambeault, owner of the store at 6928 N. Glenwood Ave., said around 6:15 p.m. Saturday, a man entered his store and began mumbling to one of his employees to "give all the blanking money or I'll blow your head off."
The employee began opening the register when he felt what he believed was the barrel of a gun sticking into his side, Archambeault said. Though the worker never saw a gun, Archambeault said it was strongly implied and that the robber's hand was inside his jacket and pointed toward the employee.
As the sales associate finished taking money out of the drawer, he was grabbed and then punched in the back and shoulder before being tossed in a nearby bathroom and told to "count to 40" before opening the door.
Archambeault said the associate could tell the man was gone after about seven seconds.
Soon after, a customer came in to find a visibly shaken employee and said they'd seen the man run north on Glenwood Avenue before turning right and heading east on Morse Avenue.
Minutes later, police arrived, Archambeault said.
Chicago Police said officers responded to a call for a hold up and that a gun was implied, but not shown, in the robbery of a 28-year-old man. No arrests have been made yet, police said.
The robber also fled with some personal items from the employee as well, Archambeault said. He believes more than $1,000 was taken in all between the cash and his worker's personal items.
By Monday, he said everything was back to "business as usual" and that his employee was recovering with a sore back and shoulder, and was thankful that was the extent of his injuries.
Archambeault said he and partner William Meek had left the shop only 45 minutes earlier after a successful first Valentines Day open.
Now, the store will be making some minor scheduling tweaks as a precautionary step, he said.
At the end of the day, Archambeault said he's still enjoying having his store in the neighborhood and is happy things are back to normal after the scary incident.
"Luckily no one was seriously hurt, you know, it's just money," Archambeault said. "It's the times that we live in. We just have to be more aware of what's going on and change some things."
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