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Caught on camera: Gas station owner pulls gun on would-be thief

Published: Jan. 31, 2022 at 2:40 AM CST
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MOUNT STERLING, Ohio (WBNS) - The owner of an Ohio gas station defended his business against an armed, would-be robber by pulling out his own gun.

Raj Patel has owned a BP gas station in Mount Sterling, Ohio, for the last 23 years. On the night of Jan. 10, he not only had to defend his business but also protect his own life. The incident was caught on surveillance video.

The video shows a man walk up to the counter inside the store. He leaves then quickly returns with a gun. Patel puts the cap back on his drink and pulls out his own gun. As the suspect runs away, he fires one shot then calls police.

The alleged attempted robber, Daniel Alan Collins Jr., was later arrested. Authorities say he’s accused in at least two other robberies in another county.

Patel says he had to defend the community he loves.

“I love people and I love my customers. It’s a great community. I came from another country, but they teach me everything I need to learn from here,” he said.

And just ask anyone in town, the feelings are mutual.

Becky Martin is the president of the Mount Sterling Chamber of Commerce, on which Patel also serves.

“Everybody was talking about it, and everyone’s reaction was the same, kind of like, ‘Don’t mess with Raj,’” she said. “He’s the epitome of a small business in a small community and what you can do to really support your friends and neighbors.”

Patel also donates to various organizations, like the local community center and the library. It’s a community that he is now proud to protect.

“So, I just wanted to teach him the lesson that robbing and stealing is not OK,” Patel said.

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