An attempted armed robbery of a Cash4Gold store in Mesquite was thwarted by the store owner, who opened fire on the suspects.
Tien, who shared only his first name with Fox 4 KDFW for fear of retaliation, successfully held off two hooded men who allegedly tried to rob his shop on Town East Boulevard on November 2.
Although both suspects had barged into the shop armed, Tien clocked them and quickly pulled out his own weapon. An exchange of gunfire ensued, with bullets flying on both sides.
“Everything was slow motion to me. I saw the mask, I saw the hoodie, I saw the gun come out,” Tien recalled, noting that the whole dramatic event lasted just three seconds.
This wasn’t Tien’s first rodeo. His shop had already been targeted by thieves in unrelated incidents twice before, making the latest attempt the third in just five years.
“I think the cash business, the gold business, seems to be an easy target for them, or so they think, but it’s not,” he explained.
Each time, he had been able to ward off robbers with warning shots.
Mesquite police are still hunting for the latest would-be thieves, with Tien saying they eventually caught the suspects in the two prior robberies. The video surveillance footage from the shootout has been released to enlist the assistance of the public.
“Our hope is that someone sees these videos, sees these images and recognizes, especially the suspect that doesn’t have his face covered,” said Lt. Brandon Ricketts.
Meanwhile, anyone had better think twice about making another attempt on Tien’s shop, as he has no plans to move or to back down when it comes to defending it.
“Part luck, part awareness, part prep. It all adds up,” he said.
Although there was some damage done to the walls, the glass counter, and a bag of golf clubs, no one was injured in the shootout.
While Tien managed to avoid falling victim to a robbery, many are not so lucky. In nearby Dallas, 2,003 robberies had been reported in 2023 as of November 8, according to the police department’s crime analytics dashboard.
The Dallas Police Department has rolled out a campaign to strategically target crime hot spots, but a lack of officers on patrol hinders it. DPD maintains a force of fewer than 3,200 sworn personnel, roughly 800 less than the 4,000 recommended by a City analysis.
The effects of this shortage are most evident in Downtown Dallas, which consistently logs significantly higher levels of crime than the downtown area of Fort Worth, which is patrolled by a designated neighborhood police unit working alongside private security guards.