Robert Deron Gaines
Forest Acres, SC (WLTX) - A normally busy shopping day turned into a nightmare for the owner of a Forest Acres store.
Officers say a suspect robbed Michael's Jewelry on April 13th.
According to investigators, around 11:30 a.m., 23-year-old Robert Deron Gaines went into the store armed with a gun and held the owner and others against their will. An incident report says he took a watch and a bracelet, along with credit cards and cash.
The ten-minute ordeal left the owner feeling on edge and the police looking for a man they say is armed and dangerous.
"Within about three seconds, someone was dragging me off my chair and putting a gun to my head," Ron Koenig, the owner.
He says that's when he knew his store was being robbed.
News19 obtained video which captures the heart stopping moment as Ron, fearing for his life, is pushed to the floor with a gun to his head as the suspect demands money and jewelry.
"The man said he was going to blow my head off," Koenig said.
Forest Acres Police released a mug shot of Gaines. He's wanted for robbery, kidnapping and the use of a weapon while committing a crime.
"It's a sinking feeling," Koenig said describing the incident. "One, of course, you're worried for your life, but at the same time you've spent a lifetime building something and someone's going to destroy it."
The video shows frame by frame as Koenig is held on the ground with the gun to his head. The suspect commands another worker to empty the showcases as Koenig is tied up on the ground, unable to move.
"I tried to be as helpful as I could. Did exactly what he told me to do, and I have insurance. I mean, that's why you have insurance. It would have been foolish to try anything," Koenig said.
In the end, Gaines made off with about $83,000 in merchandise, cash and credit cards. Ron says the whole ordeal brings a flurry of emotions.
"Almost a post-traumatic stress anger over time," he said. "It just shouldn't be."
Koenig is adding a new system of locks, and every customer is currently required to knock before entering the store.
Forest Acres Police want your help finding Gaines. If you can help find him call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.