Fast thinking by a clerk at a northern California gas station helped police rescue a woman who had walked into the store to hide from men she said had kidnapped her, KFNS reported.
Surveillance video showed the woman walking into the Triple R Gas and Mart in Waterford around 3 p.m. Wednesday and speaking to Savannah Pritchett, a clerk at the store, KCRA reported. The woman, who said she had been abducted in Fresno, had told her alleged captors that she needed to use a restroom.
“The first thing she did tell me was, ‘I was kidnapped, and they do have guns. Please, lock the door, they will kill us, or kill me,’” Pritchett told KCRA.
Pritchett locked the store’s front door and escorted the woman to the restroom, giving her a cellphone and instructing her to call 911, KFNS reported. Pritchett then allowed the alleged kidnappers into the store.
"I knew that if I left the door locked they would have caught on to something and probably took off,” Pritchett told KFNS. “So I went back up there and I unlocked the door. They seriously had no idea that I knew anything.”
Moments later, police responding to the 911 call entered the store and arrested Anthony Sandoval, 18, and eventually, three juvenile suspects, KNFS said.
“Her being able to get this victim into a secured restroom with a phone and being able to contact law enforcement very well may have saved her life,” Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Tom Letras told KCRA.
“The one thing that keeps replaying in my head, ‘If I wouldn’t have believed her, what would have happened to her?’” Pritchett told KCRA.