Heroism stopped robbery

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Five months into his first job bagging groceries, Germal Blake has an Employee of the Year award and an unforgettable story.

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Kroger employee Germal Blake chased away a man who was trying to steal a woman's purse outside the store last week.  Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Kroger employee Germal Blake chased away a man who was trying to steal a woman's purse outside the store last week.


He earned the gold star on his Kroger name tag last week during a routine night collecting grocery carts from the parking lot on Washington Road.

Two hours before the end of his shift, about 10:30 p.m., the 17-year-old was heading back into the store when he noticed an older couple walking out through the sliding doors.

A skinny man came up behind them and grabbed the woman's purse, but she didn't let go. Germal thought it was a joke until the man started dragging the woman with her purse.

When she hit her face on a metal post outside the store, Germal knew it was serious.

"I was just shocked this was happening in front of me," he said.

The robber dropped the purse and started running empty-handed toward Alexander Drive on the east side of the shopping center. Germal hesitated at first because Kroger employees aren't allowed to chase shoplifters and he didn't want to get into trouble.

"But I didn't want him to get away with that," Germal said.

He sprinted after the man and shouted at him to come back and turn himself in.

He was on the phone with Richmond County dispatchers all the while, giving authorities a description.

Germal had almost caught up with his target and was expecting a fight when the man started fiddling in his pockets as he ran. That gave Germal some pause, and the robber took the extra seconds to jump into a car waiting for him in a parking lot across the street.

The man got away that night, but Germal got the tag number. A week later, investigators arrested a man they accused of being responsible, James Randall Holley, 43, who is charged with strong-arm robbery.

Richmond County sheriff's Sgt. James Kelly said Germal's initiative made a major contribution in catching the suspect.

"We used the tag to track him down," Kelly said. "The bagger was a big help."

Germal went home that night and related the exciting chase to his mother.

She was proud but understandably concerned.

She said, "You can't be doing that," Germal said with a smile.

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museofsatie
586
Points
museofsatie 02/19/11 - 04:47 pm
0
0
.

.

Cadence
219
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Cadence 02/19/11 - 03:23 am
0
0
What a wonderful, brave young

What a wonderful, brave young man! I hope the older lady is alright. I'll reserve my opinion about the cowardly scum that attacked her. (don't want to get deleted) He sure got more than he bargained for!

bclicious
874
Points
bclicious 02/19/11 - 04:04 am
0
0
Good stuff. This is much

Good stuff. This is much better then the story about the walmart employees up north who were fired for stopping an armed shop lifter. Great job Krogers and Great job Germal!

Asitisinaug
4
Points
Asitisinaug 02/19/11 - 04:51 am
0
0
Great job to Germal. You

Great job to Germal. You can't rely on many people to get involved now days but Germal did and helped put this violent criminal where he needs to be - lets just hope our justice system does the same.

This Kroger has changed a lot as has the entire area. They use to have a deputy at night then went to security which was basically pointless and now they don't do anything to help protect their shoppers and deter crime in the evening hours. If they really want to help their business, protect their employees and shoppers, they need to have a deputy during the evening hours. It is ashame it has come to that in this area but if businesses want to protect their investments, they better step up to the plate because the only thing the commissioners are doing with law enforcement is cutting the number of deputies, cutting their current salaries, cutting the number of days they work and cutting the Sheriff's Office budget which is pathetic.

seenitB4
123865
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seenitB4 02/19/11 - 07:31 am
0
0
Ladies please be careful,

Ladies please be careful, this same thing just happened to a lady at a cvs store in Gwinnett county----thug waiting to grab purse of a lady going to her car..... well lit--busy shopping area....

southernguy08
575
Points
southernguy08 02/19/11 - 08:24 am
0
0
Nice work, Germal. Glad
Unpublished

Nice work, Germal. Glad you're okay too. I'd say something about the attacker, but it might offend somebody who believes there are no guilty robbers.

augustarookie
301
Points
augustarookie 02/19/11 - 09:23 am
0
0
Great job! Now if that

Great job! Now if that Krogers will put him in charge of ordering maybe they won't always be out of items.

oldfella
620
Points
oldfella 02/19/11 - 09:37 am
0
0
Awesome job Germal! Guts +

Awesome job Germal! Guts + brains are a great combination. Smart move to take notice when the robber fiddled with his pockets - he may have been trying to get a weapon. Odds are if he had one he would have pulled it right away, but with criminals you just never know. Glad nobody got hurt too badly in this whole ordeal - except the robber's pride. Hope he looks good in an orange jumpsuit.

PitchFork007
474
Points
PitchFork007 02/19/11 - 10:33 am
0
0
I'd love to see Germal

I'd love to see Germal officially recognized by several local agencies, starting with Mayor Deke, our dedicated to "crime-fighting" mayor of
Augusta.

Imzadi
8
Points
Imzadi 02/19/11 - 11:52 am
0
0
This employee went above and

This employee went above and beyond to do a great service to his community. Cudos to him for his actions. I am just glad this thug did not get hostile and try to hurt him for doing the right thing.

I believe upon conviction the lowlife pond scum dredge to society should recieve the maximum sentance plus some.

Takin the ol ladies purse? whassamattau

airbud7
1
Points
airbud7 02/19/11 - 01:48 pm
0
0
Germal should be Head of

Germal should be Head of Security/not collecting grocery carts!!!

AutumnLeaves
11757
Points
AutumnLeaves 02/19/11 - 02:16 pm
0
0
thank you, Germal and to

thank you, Germal and to whoever raised you properly.

yakirz
9
Points
yakirz 02/19/11 - 02:33 pm
0
0
Criminals deserve death. If
Unpublished

Criminals deserve death. If you hurt others, or take from them, you have no reason to breathe.

That being said, legalize all drugs and don't make criminals out of people for choosing to put plants or chemicals into their own bodies.

dani
13
Points
dani 02/19/11 - 09:16 pm
0
0
Would legalizing drugs stop

Would legalizing drugs stop people from manufacturing it, selling it, or committing robbery and murder to get it?

Taylor B
5
Points
Taylor B 02/19/11 - 11:38 pm
0
0
Yes

Yes

KellyRay
14
Points
KellyRay 02/25/11 - 03:14 pm
0
0
I go to this Kroger all the

I go to this Kroger all the time, so I am glad to hear that we have some brave young men around just incase we need them. We as a community have to fight back and let these low lifes know that we are not gonna just stand idol while you commit crimes in our are area. Dani I hate to even say this but your comment is just stupid Don't be so ignorant to say that what we need is more neighborhood watch and harsher punnishment for these idiots making meth with children in there homes not to just legalize it and watch our communities and children go to ruine Seriously just start reporting crime and eventually these people will get the idea that they can get away with it out of there head also we need to be better parents, and raise our children better, spend more quality time with them so they will grow up to be law abiding citizens not drug addicts !!!!!!!

REGINALD
0
Points
REGINALD 03/04/11 - 04:53 pm
0
0
A big Whooo Ahhh! Germal

A big Whooo Ahhh! Germal

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