Baker tied up, pistol-whipped during robbery


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — He was pistol-whipped, tied up and robbed, but the victim of a violent Grand Rapids bakery robbery said the armed assailants assured him that they weren’t going to kill him.

The 53-year-old victim was robbed by three armed men at the Schnitz Bakery on East Fulton Street early Saturday morning. The victim, whose name is Craig, asked 24 Hour News 8 not to use his last name but shared his story in hopes that it might encourage people with information to come forward.

The store was closed at the time of the robbery. Craig was alone, baking in preparation for the day ahead. The three men entered through an unlocked door.

Craig says he was caught “off guard” when the assailants charged into the bakery and attacked him.

“Just jumped on me,” Craig told 24 Hour News 8 Monday. “They covered up my mouth and put my head face down on the floor.”

The assailants then pistol-whipped him when he was unable to tell them how to access cash in the register and safe.

“‘Where’s the money?'” Craig said describing the demands of the robbers. “He poked the gun right in my eye then.”

Craig was then tied up and stripped of his pants. The robbers used his apron and suspenders to bind his hands and feet.

Unable to open the cash register and safe, the robbers fled with them. The safe, Craig said, weighed probably 80 pounds.

“They flipped me over and then told me to sit up. … Then they propped me up, put a wet apron over my head, cleaned up all the blood and said ‘sit still,'” Craig said.

Craig was able to free himself and call 911.

While he was afraid, Craig said he felt certain that the robbers were not going to kill him. They told him so and even checked to make sure he could breathe when they covered his face, he said.

Despite his injuries, Craig refused medical treatment and finished his shift at the bakery where he has been employed for nearly four years.

“Dedicated,” he said.

Craig is now hoping for justice for himself — and perhaps others. He says he’s confident the men who robbed him were experienced.

“I think they knew what they were doing. … The way they tied me up and how smooth they were,” Craig said.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Grand Rapids police at 616.456.3400 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.

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