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Broom vs. gun: Hair salon owner succeeds using broom to stop armed robbers, police say

HOUSTON – A hair salon owner grabbed a broom when three men armed with guns entered his business in northeast Houston.

The incident occurred Thursday, Aug. 2, just after 8 p.m. at the salon in the 9500 block of Homestead.

The shop’s security video shows a man with a gun and two accomplices burst through the front door and begin roughing up a customer, as they demanded money.

“When they came in, it was, 'Everybody, your purse, your phone, everybody, your purse, your phone.'" co-owner Louise Mahop said. 

Her husband Andre Olinga immediately grabbed a broom and charged at the robbers. As he did, the gunman fired at him, grazing his head, but Olinga kept coming. The robbers appeared to panic on the video as Olinga pushed them out the front door, leaving the pistol lying on the floor. 

“He was afraid, but he said, 'Don’t want the guy to go out with people’s purses and money.' He said, 'I know they don’t deserve that.' He said he has to do what he has to do,” Mahop said.

The robbers are still at large.

“This guy’s a hero, in my opinion, all day long,” said robbery Detective Jeff Brieen said. “Do I recommend for somebody to do something like this? Absolutely not.”

That’s because the good guys aren't always so lucky. 

Orlinga said he has beefed up security at the shop, and Houston Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for help finding the would-be robbers he swept out of his shop.

Anyone with information about the attempted robbery is urged to contact Crimestoppers at 713-222-TIPS.