Two gas station employees nabbed after they staged robbery to steal from the store (VIDEO)

Monday, February 19, 2024
 – Two gas station employees in Georgia are accused of staging a “very comical” robbery for the store’s CCTV so they could steal $5,000.

Duluth law enforcement officials allege that on January 20, Shell co-workers Raj Patel and Danny Curtis conspired to pull off a $5,000 robbery in two separate incidents caught on camera.

Law & Crime reviewed the footage, some of which has been shared online.

The incident unfolded around 11:45 p.m. when a man entered the Shell station and stormed the cashier counter, allegedly threatening Patel with a weapon. A moment later, the man seemingly punches Patel in the face. From the footage, it’s unclear if the punch is real or not.

The thief then grabs cash from the register before fleeing and quickly returning at 12:05 am. At this point, Patel apparently threw his hands into the air and gave the man space to empty the register.

When officers responded around 12:11 a.m., a “shaking” Patel informed them that the man had stolen about $5,000 across both visits before fleeing out the side door. Patel confirmed that no employees had gone in or out of this door since the supposed thief fled.

When officers searched the area behind the store, they found Curtis in the dumpster area crushing cardboard boxes. Patel confirmed to them that Curtis works there. Curtis said he knew nothing of the robbery, claiming to have been outside the entire time.

Police were suspicious after viewing surveillance footage of the store’s exterior.

According to officers’ report, the video shows a suspect, believed to be Curtis, “leaving out the side door, going to the dumpster, going back inside the store wearing different clothing items, and then exiting the store again, returning to the dumpster. The suspect then changed clothes and came out from the dumpster, and when officers were pulling up, the suspect walked back inside the dumpster area. The final encounter with anyone in the dumpster area was when I found Danny Curtis working…When officers asked for the dumpster key, he pulled it out of his pocket, and dollar bills fell out.”

Curtis was released because officers were unable to view surveillance tape from inside the store, and because Patel convinced them that Curtis had nothing to do with the robbery. However, once police saw the footage nearly a week later, both men were arrested.

In an interrogation video published by Law & Crime, Curtis confessed to the crime and said it was Patel’s idea to pull off the fake robbery.

“He told me he’s gonna let me rob the store and he’ll get the insurance,” Curtis told officers.

Curtis also said he threw away the knife used in the robbery, as well as all of the cash he stole, because he was “scared” after the episode.

“I know it was staged. It looked fake,” the investigator told Curtis, adding that the whole effort looked “very comical” and “funny” on video.

“It’s just a lot of bullshit,” Curtis responded.

Curtis is currently being held at Gwinnett County Jail on charges of theft by taking and conspiracy to commit a felony.

Patel is facing one count of making false statements or writings. faces a count of false statements or writings. Though he was released on bond after his initial arrest,

Duluth police spokespersons Ted Sadowskiand confirmed to Law & Crime that Patel is currently wanted on a new warrant for conspiracy to commit a felony.

Watch the video of the fake robbery below.

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