GREENSBORO, N.C. -- After hearing 16-year-old Avion Bell was arrested by Greensboro police, Crystal Austin said she breathed a sigh of relief.
“It’s like a ton lifted off of my shoulders. It was immediate, it went away, the fear. Because it’s been total fear ever since,” she said.
Austin was leaving work off North Elm Street on April 1 when she said Bell approached her at her car with a gun.
"He kept asking me for my pocketbook, and I said, 'I’m not going to give you my pocketbook,'” she said.
Austin said eventually, she pretended to reach for her purse.
“When I do that, I reach up, pull out my gun and put it over the top of my pocketbook and then he runs like crazy,” she said. “He was totally horrified. I wish I had that picture, I would pay a million dollars for that picture.”
Bell was arrested Friday, accused of four counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon and two counts of conspiracy to commit robbery.
Police say Bell stole cash and phones. Investigation reports show he also took two cars that were later recovered.
Austin told police Bell fired three shots as he ran away, but no one was injured.
“I just didn’t feel the need to shoot him, I don’t know why but something told me not to, so I’m glad I didn’t,” she said.
Austin urged people to be more aware of their surroundings.
“Just defend yourself because there’s nobody else that will do it for you,” she said.
Police say the other robberies were reported on the 200 block of Winston Street, the 300 block of Berryman Street, and the 2000 block of Ashley Road from March 23 through the beginning of April.
Bell is being held in the Guilford County Jail under $1 million bond.