Armed Robbery Actually Was Mental Patient Needing Help

By On March 26, 2015

The call over the Police Radio was an Armed Robbery in Progress at a local business with the suspect still at the scene.  911 operators were receiving multiple calls describing the subject had entered the business, was acting oddly with a bandana covering his face and mouth, and holding a bundle of newspapers in his hand which callers reported was concealing a firearm.

Based on his behavior, patrons of the business had began running out and calling Burbank Police and when officers arrived, they saw a subject matching the description (bandana covering face and mouth, bundle of newspaper in hand, etc) in the area of Magnolia and Rose. They made tactical contact (by way of a felony stop) and detained him at gunpoint.  The suspect complied with commands and was detained without incident.

It was then discovered he did not have a firearm but did have mental health issues, and no attempted robbery had occurred. While people had fled based on the assumption he was armed and going to rob the place, he never made threats or demands.

While this was a high stress incident based on the initial calls with officers facing a reportedly armed suspect, with high risk to bystanders, the subject turned out to have mental health issues, which can make things even more difficult. If not for the officers managing of the incident, a tragedy could have resulted.