Surveillance footage shows Mississauga convenience store owner use bananas to fend off robbery attempt
The owner of a Mississauga convenience store says when an alleged robber approached her, all she could do was grab the first thing she could find — bananas placed right next to her.
Saungae Kim, co-owner of A&J Convenience, says she didn’t realize it was a robber at first until the man started jumping onto the counter. “I was looking for something to do, but I [saw] the bananas, so I started to hit him with [it].”
Peel Regional Police were called to the store Saturday evening at around 8:40 p.m. for reports of a robbery attempt in the Hurontario and John streets area, near Cooksville GO station.
Officers said the male suspect left the store empty-handed after store employees hit him with a banana. No one was injured in the incident.
At the time, Kim and her husband, Iksoo Kim, who co-owns the store, were working at the front counter together, when a man suddenly walked in and allegedly demanded them to open up their cash register.
“First time [the suspect] was coming, [I thought] it’s a store customer,” he said. Iksoo thought the man was joking when he asked for cash, he said.
But when the suspect kept insisting, Iksoo wondered if there was something wrong. That was when the man started jumping onto the counter in an attempt to reach the register, he said.
“I wasn’t thinking, I just [tried to] push him out my store,” he said.
In the moment, Saungae said she couldn’t think of anything other than trying to find an object that she could use to defend her husband. Conveniently, a batch of bananas was within reach, so she started hitting the man until he stopped climbing the counter, and left.
Thinking back on it, Saungae said it seemed funny, but she’s still scared. “Who knows if he’ll come back?”
Iksoo and his wife have been running their current store for six years. They’ve owned other stores previously and have also had several robbery attempts happen to them. This was the second attempt at their current store, they said.
He describes it as a mom-and-pop shop, and that they’re a husband-and-wife team.
“We have to [stick together], especially at night time, we stay together all the time”
He also said he’s very proud of his wife.
WATCH: Surveillance video shows owner of Mississauga convenience store owner fend off robbery attempt by throwing bananas at suspect.
However, police have advised them to refrain from physically confronting suspects in order to avoid any injury.
Iksoo said, while he’ll try to follow what the police encouraged, he doesn’t know what will happen in the future and that he has to protect not only the store but his wife as well.
Since the incident, local customers have praised Saungae for her unique efforts to defend her husband and the store.
James Johnson, a longtime customer, dropped by the store after hearing the incident on the news and wanted to get his banana signed to commemorate her efforts.
“I think it was brave [what she did],” he said. “In the moment, of course, the first thing she could grab was the bananas. What else can you get?”
He said he’s been coming to the store for years and called what she did “admirable.”
“I don’t know what I would do, but she did what I wish I could do,” Johnson said.
—With files from Tom Hayes
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