An elderly couple in New York City was beaten and threatened by armed robbers pretending to be FedEx delivery men, but the robbery was thwarted by two street cleaners who happened to be walking by at the right time.
The couple spoke to KABC-TV about the harrowing incident and allowed them access to their surveillance video.
The video shoes the two men talking to the 74-year-old male business-owner outside his shop in Manhattan on Friday at about 7:30 a.m. He said they had a fake FedEx invoice and then put a gun to his back to force themselves inside when he opened the door.
The couple believes the robbers had been watching them for a long time because they knew exactly when the owner typically arrived at the store, hours before it opened.
Disturbingly, the robbers threatened the couple's granddaughter, and it was caught on audio.
"Stop yelling. Stop yelling," one robber can be heard saying. "You want your granddaughter to be hurt when she comes back from school? Open the door."
They also went straight to the safe in the business without touching any of the products in the store.
While they tried to open the safe, the man's wife entered the store and was confronted as well. She fell to the ground and they pointed a gun at her face and threatened her while dragging her on the ground.
"I was very scared," she told KABC. "He pulled me to the ground and I couldn't get up."
She can be heard yelling and screaming on the video.
That apparently caught the attention of two street cleaners who then accosted the two robbers and chased them away. At one point in the video, one of the sweepers swings his dustpan at one of the robbers.
Jeffrey Kwan, the son of the two store owners, said that the cleaners named Wilson and Jorge were well-known to them.
The two robbers fled from the scene, and police are trying to identify them.
The robbers were only able to get away with about $1,500, which was taken from the man's wallet, according to the NYPD.
Unfortunately, the elderly man was pistol-whipped, and his wife was bruised when she fell on her knees.
The couple said that in 46 years of owning the store that they had never had to deal with such a violent robbery. They're afraid that even if the robbers are caught that lax crime enforcement will mean they'll be let out onto the street with little punishment.
"They just knew certain things about us. Kind of disturbing," said Kwan.
Here's the security video from the violent incident:
Store owners thought they were going to die in violent robberywww.youtube.com
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