Family Dollar employee pistol-whipped during robbery

Worker caught off guard at store off East State Fair Avenue, I-75

DETROIT – A Family Dollar employee is recovering Saturday night after being pistol-whipped during a robbery.

Police said the robber caught the worker off guard at a store off East State Fair Avenue and I-75.

It's believed the robber waited for the opening manager to pull into the lot, and the moment she turned the keys to the front door he moved in. But people don't understand why the robber had to injure the woman too.

As workers at the Family Dollar prepared for closing Saturday night, they were looking over their shoulders, especially after the robbery. Surveillance images captured a man robbing an employee at gunpoint as she opened the business for the day.

"She's the assistant manager," said Jazmine Smelley, a regular customer. "She's a real nice person, and she tries to do what she has to do and handle her business she's very nice to customers."

But police said the robber lurked around the building, and the moment the employee unlocked the door, he rushed her.

Once inside, he forced her to hand over all cash. The worker complied, but that didn't stop the man from hitting the woman over the head with a gun.

"Why injure if you already got your money?" Smelley asked. "She didn't deserve that. It's pretty messed up."

The store is not a part of the city's Green Light program, but there are signs letting people know they are under surveillance, but that didn't stop the thief who police want to catch.

As for the worker, Local 4 News is told she didn't need medical attention, but it's unclear if she will return to work anytime soon.

"I don't want her to come back to work and just thinking, 'I don't, I don't get robbed again and again.' So I wouldn't come back right now," Smelley said.

The robbery happened around 8:30 a.m. Saturday, and it appears the worker was opening the store alone. While closing Saturday night, there were at least two people locking up. The store would not comment about Saturday's robbery.

Anyone who knows anything about the robbery is asked to call the Detroit Police Department.