Patrons and a clerk of a Marlin convenience store held a man accused of robbing the business at bay before local authorities arrived to arrest the man late last week, Falls County Sheriff Ricky Scaman said.

Rafael Hernandez, 22, of Marlin, was arrested after a report of a robbery had occurred at AJ’s Chevron Drive Thru, 403 Live Oak St., in Marlin on Friday. Employees allegedly spotted Hernandez, who had entered the back room of the convenience store, removing cartons of cigarettes and placing them in his backpack.

Scaman said as Hernandez tried to leave the business, a clerk tried to stop Hernandez. Hernandez dragged the clerk outside onto the concrete pavement, Scaman said.

Several customers intervened and were able to get control of Hernandez and detain him until Scaman arrived, he said. The clerk sustained minor injuries.

“This low life crook was taken off the streets today as a result of a gutsy clerk and several gutsy customers," Scaman said in a press release.

Marlin Police Chief Nathan Sodek also stated that he was proud of his officers for arresting Hernandez quickly and without causing any major injuries to customers, the suspect or any officers.

Authorities arrested Hernandez on a charge of robbery. He later posted bond listed at $10,000 and was released from custody.

Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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