‘It’s not going to happen': Extraordinary moment Australian shopkeeper stared down gun-wielding thug during bungled robbery
Would-be armed robber pulls gun in regional Victoria, Australia
Brave worker flatly refuses his demands for cash, even with gun in his face
After a tense stand-off, thief drops his head and leaves empty-handed
Quick-thinking staff member had instantly recognised the gun as a replica
Disobeying the orders of someone who is pointing a gun at your head is not usually a good idea.
But incredibly, that’s exactly what one shop assistant in a 24-hour convenience store did when confronted by an armed robber.
In only his sixth week on the job, night shift worker Steve Ewart flatly refused to hand over any money, sparking a tense stand-off with the armed robber inside the Australian store.
It was undoubtedly a brave act, but the luckless thief had accidentally targeted a gun-mad enthusiast who’d immediately recognised the weapon as a replica.
‘It’s not going to happen': Shopkeeper Steve Ewart barely reacts to the gun pointed just inches from his face
The robber demanded money from the cash register. When it was refused he simply put the gun away and walked out – and it was all caught on CCTV and uploaded to YouTube.
There is no sound on the video, but it’s still no less extraordinary.
A young man wearing a balaclava and a black T-shirt is filmed entering the store.
He walks up to the counter, but there’s no one there at first, so he looks at some items for sale nearby. Then Mr Ewart appears and the man in the balaclava throws a bag down and says something.
Mr Ewart, 46, told MailOnline that this was a demand for money.
The unshaken shopkeeper can be seen shaking his head. The man in the T-shirt then pulls out a gun and levels it at Mr Ewart, just inches away, and says something else, but again the worker simply shakes his head.
The gun-toting robber looks momentarily puzzled, then points the gun at Mr Ewart’s head again.
Incredibly, Mr Ewart stands his ground. The robber, utterly dejected by this unexpected heroism, simply tucks the gun down the front of his trousers, drops his head in defeat and slinks out the door.
Unfazed: Storekeeper instantly recognised the pistol as a replica cap gun
It’s not real: Mr Ewart calmly points out that the thief’s gun is a replica
Ignored: The hapless thief drops his head and makes for the door
Hasty retreat: The baffled crook makes a quick getaway
It’s an extraordinary scene.
It’s the fourth attempted robbery in just 14 months on the tiny store, but Mr Ewart’s actions mean it could be the last.
MailOnline phoned Mr Ewart to find out exactly what he’d said to compel the robber to leave.
He said: ‘He told me “give me all your money”. And I said: “It’s not going to happen.” Then he pulled the gun out. Now, I’ve been around guns all my life and I knew he had a replica gun. So I said to him again: “It’s not going to happen.”
‘Then he had another go and said: “Do you want to test me, mate?”
‘And I said “it’s still only a cap gun, I’ll test you all day”. Then he gave up and left. It took the wind right out of his sails. I recognised it as a cap gun. It’s a 1960s replica firearm.’
Mr Ewart said that he wasn’t at all worried that the man would return with a real gun.
He said: ‘I don’t think he would somehow. He’s not that far up the criminal food chain. He’s just a young guy trying his luck. I only did what I did because I knew what I was looking at. (I was) just lucky. I say to staff that they should just hand over the cash if anyone comes in with a real gun. It’s not worth risking your life for.’
According to Mr Ewart, the police haven’t made any arrests, but ‘have got some leads’. They suspect that the would-be robber may have come in the shop earlier in the day, he said.
The suspect apparently climbed into a silver Commodore sedan that was waiting in a street nearby.