Paris bookstore owner thwarts robbery attempt

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PARIS, TX -- A quick thinking Paris bookstore owner thwarted two armed robbery suspects, who left the store shocked and empty handed.

Jeffery Varnado owns a downtown Paris bookstore and Sunday afternoon he faced what could have been a life or death decision. Two men entered his store just before five and tried to rob him at gunpoint.

"He pointed an automatic pistol at me, it wasn't a revolver it was an automatic, and said this is a robbery," said Varnado.

The two men soon learned, they picked the wrong store and the wrong man.

"I said 'No!'," said Varnado. "I got up out of the chair and pulled my phone out. At this time he turned and yelled to his accomplice 'Let's go. They're calling the cops.'"

The two men ran out of the store, baffled and empty handed.

"At first I thought 'God is this some sort of practical joke, what's going on?'," said Varnado. "But I wasn't afraid or intimidated of the gun and I think that threw him."

"I don't think he was expecting the reaction he got. I didn't cooperate and I wasn't afraid."

Although Varnado's actions foiled the robbery, Assistant Police Chief Randy Tuttle says Varnado was lucky he escaped unharmed and recommends if you come face to face with robbers, just comply with the their demands.

This was the first robbery attempt at Varnado's store in nearly 30 years of business, but he says he now plans on taking extra safety precautions.

"I'm going to install some surveillance video cameras in the near future, the policemen I talked to suggested that," said Varnado. "I've now locked and secured that door that they came in, so I'm now just using the one front door."

Police are still investigation the robbery attempt.