Patrons take down suspect during armed robbery in Burlington

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BURLINGTON, N.C. -- Patrons in a Burlington convenience store stopped an armed robbery in progress Sunday evening.

Police responded to the KemCo located at 507 North Graham Hopedale Road around 10:58 p.m. to a report of an armed robbery.

Chelsea Douglas was one of the clerks on duty in the store. "A dude walked in with a wig on, black hoodie, black pants, face mask and a gun. He pointed the gun at me and told me to give him all the money in the register. That if I didn't give me all the money in the register, he was going to kill me," she told FOX8.

Douglas, a mother of two young girls, said she was terrified and thinking of her daughters.

But before the robber could make off with any cash, Douglas said a customer in the store apparently showed his own gun and started fighting with the robber. Police later identified the suspect as Michael Andre Donaldson, 33, of Tryon Street.

In the meantime, a man named Lejuan Miles had a bad feeling something was wrong. He lives behind the convenience store and knows the people who work there.

"I was outside and saw this guy walking around the back of the store. He turned around and we saw him duck down a little bit. And when he walked down there [toward the front of KemCo], I was like -- something ain't right."

Miles waited a minute and went around to the front of the store. He saw the robber and the customer inside wrestling. Miles immediately pushed through the glass doors and joined in the fight.

"I just grabbed him. And just come outside with him and put him in a sleep hold. We just went side to side, and I finally got him tripped up and got him on the ground," added Miles.

Lt. Brian Long with the Burlington said, "Absolute act of bravery on behalf of the patrons. Not always what we recommend. But be a good witness. In this particular case it worked out well."

Witnesses say the suspect has a small caliber semi-automatic handgun.

No injuries were reported.

The suspect is identified as Michael Andre Donaldson, 33, is charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm by a felon and injury to real property.

Donaldson is in the Alamance County Jail.

Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact the Burlington Police Department at (336) 229-3500 or Burlington / Alamance Crimestoppers at (336) 229-7100.

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