An alleged thief wasn't fazed when workers at a Chicago muffler shop told him a safe he wanted to rob wasn't open. He just asked them to give him a call when their boss returned with the combination.
The 18-year-old got a call. But so did Chicago police.
When Ruben Carate returned to Velasquez & Sons Mufflers For Less on Monday, plainclothes Chicago police officers shot and wounded him in the leg. Carate was charged Tuesday with attempted armed robbery and aggravated assault of a police officer, the Cook County state's attorney's office said.
"He gave us his phone number when we told him we didn't have any money. He told us to call him back when the owner came back with the money and he was going to come back and rob him," said worker Tony Diaz.
"It's pretty funny now, but it wasn't at the time," Diaz said.
A masked man entered the shop with a gun and demanded money around 8 a.m., said mechanic Jose Sida.
Employees told him they carried little cash and couldn't open the safe, so the man left two numbers to call when the owner came in, Sida said.
"No one could make this up," said police Lt. Scott Schwieger.
The man returned around noon, wearing the same mask and clothing. Officers told employees to get to the back of the shop, Sida said.
Carate was treated at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center for a gunshot wound, said Mark Payne, a spokesman for the Independent Police Review Authority. An inquiry into the shooting will take six months to complete, he said.