Teen Faces Masked Gunman In Attempted Robbery

By: Ann McIntire Email
By: Ann McIntire Email

Brazen robberies have been happening across the metro, from Omaha to three armed robberies in Sarpy County last week. Now, Council Bluffs is reporting an incident involving a teenager who faced a terrifying experience Saturday night.

Michael Kleindienst has worked at the Hy-Vee near the Mall of the Bluffs for the last year-and-a-half, but what happened Saturday night will haunt him for years to come.

"I'm being sent on break and I left my wallet in my van, so what I did, I went outside, I went to my van, heard a car door shut behind me and then I heard footsteps, so I turned around to see who it was. I just froze in fear."

He was staring down the barrel of a handgun. "He demands that I give him my wallet. Out of fear, my hands shot into the air. Basically I just told him I don't have my wallet and luckily for me he got frustrated, put the gun in his pocket and left."

Kleindienst doesn't remember much about the man. "I was just sitting there thinking please don't pull that trigger." Kleindienst does have enough of a description to give police something to go on. "He had a black ski mask on, he was white because I could see around his eyes inside the ski mask. He had a black hoodie."

Now Kleindienst hopes police find the suspect before he tries it again. "Probably the most terrifying moment of my entire life. It made me realize how short life is and how easily it can end. I'm really glad that I'm here to give this story."

Kleindienst said all employees must park in a lot which is actually part of the Mall of the Bluffs and isn't as well lit as the customer parking lot of Hy-Vee. He hopes this incident will help everyone be more aware and encourage additional security in the area.

Council Bluffs police said the attempted robbery appears to be an isolated incident. The suspect's vehicle description is a navy, four-door Dodge sedan. Anyone with information is asked to call Council Bluffs Crime Stoppers at 712-328-7867.


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