A pair of armed robbers in New Jersey, USA, never realised they would be a laughing stock after their planned operation turned into a comedy show for onlookers.
The armed men barged into a cellphone store on Wednesday afternoon and held up the store manager Tomy Torrez.
“I say, check the walls and take whatever you want,” Torrez told NBC 4 New York. “So when they were busy I start running to the back.“
Torrez then smartly opened a back door that connected to another office and told everyone there they needed to get out.
He then went out of another door from that space and slammed the gate there, blocking the back exit. He also went back to the front of the cellphone store and did the same thing from the outside.
Surveillance video shows the exact moment the metal gates slammed down on the storefront, sparking panic from the robbers.
“Get us outta here!” they shouted as they desperately tried to slam through the glass.
By that time, a crowd had gathered outside the store. They gazed and laughed at the robbers trapped inside.
Torrez called police from outside.
The robbers were desperately trying to get out. Eventually, one of them found the master set of keys and handed them to the people outside, hoping to be freed.
But the people outside handed the keys to Torrez instead.
The robbers however found a toolbox and unbolted the bars on a back window and escaped.
Police were said to have arrived at the scene late because the 911 operator thought it was a shoplifting case.
Torrez said he called police “like five times.”
Paterson police said internal affairs are investigating and will use the incident to help retrain 911 operators.
Police are on the hunt for the robbers.
Video credit: ABC News