This is the first time the bakery has been robbed in 32 years and the employee on duty at the time has only been there for 8 months.
That man, a husband and father, acted fast. The officer who was in the area acted fast as well, and now two men are in custody.
The employee, Seceilion Oliver, told Action News, "All I could think about was my family."
Surveillance footage shows two armed men rushing the 35-year-old employee of the Center City Soft Pretzel Company, located on the 800 block of Washington Avenue in South Philadelphia. It was around 12:15 a.m. Tuesday - not long after opening. The men closed the inner gate and told Oliver to shut the outer one.
"I was pulling gate down. It happened so fast," Oliver said. He said he thought to himself, "You gotta do something. You gotta do something because once they get you in the back, nothing can help you. No one can hear you."
So he told the gunmen only the owner had the key. Oliver was looking to make red flags for any possible customers. He offered the money in the register as a way to open the drawer without raising suspicion.
"So I'm thinking, if [customer] see the cash register open and I'm not there... something's wrong."
"Very intelligently, the night manager opens the cash register drawer as they escort him to the back," said Capt. Larry Nodiff of the Philadelphia Police.
But the men were looking for more. They demanded to be taken in the back, where Oliver was bound with wire ties. The robbers kicked in the reinforced door and ransacked the office for money.
"The little guy's telling me, like, look you know what's going to happen if we don't find this money," Oliver said.
Meanwhile, a customer came in and waited. Soon after, a 3rd district police officer, a regular, comes in and looks around. It wasn't long before he sees the signs.
The officer called to the back and wasn't satisfied when one of the men answered that he was in the bathroom.
Oliver says, "He noticed the drawer was open, he knows there's something wrong. He calls backup immediately."
Back up arrived and officers went in, guns drawn and announce themselves. That's when the robbers allegedly tried to stash their guns in a drawer and in the bathroom. Oliver comes out first and drops to his knees, the two suspects followed.
The two men were then handcuffed and taken into custody. Police found two handguns along with a backpack containing the $393 which was allegedly taken from the cash register.
The suspects, 40-year-old Donte Camp and 43-year-old Calvin Clark, are charged with Robbery, Unlawful Restraint, Violation of the Uniform Firearms Act and related charges.