A man armed with a knife went inside a gift shop along Garapan Street in Garapan, tied up a female employee, and ran off with over $1,200 last Sunday night.
The victim, Shun Ji Piao, 51, managed to free herself and shout for help through the restroom window of the Full House Gift Shop. She was not injured.
A man who lives near the shop called the police and checked the establishment.
When police officers arrived, the suspect had already fled.
Acting police spokesman Jason Tarkong said that police responded to Full House Gift Shop on Sunday at 8:07pm and learned from the victim that she had been tied up and the store had been robbed.
The suspect was described as male, with a white T-shirt, a pair of dark pants, a pair of black shoes, wearing a hat, and with a beige cloth covering his face.
Tarkong said police investigation showed that the suspect walked into the shop with a knife, tied up the victim with rope, covered her mouth with a cloth, and placed her on the floor behind the clothing rack.
Tarkong said the suspect broke the cash register and took over $1,000.
The victim managed to free herself and shouted for help. Neighbors heard the victim’s screams and contacted the police.
Piao told Saipan Tribune yesterday that the robbery happened at about 7:30pm and that four to five police officers arrived about 30 minutes later.
Piao said the suspect entered the store about a minute after two Chinese female customers left the shop.
Piao said she was in the cashier’s area when the suspect arrived and told her not to move.
“I was very scared,” the victim said, adding that she told the suspect not hurt her and that he could get anything.
She said the robber tied her hands with a rope, covered her mouth with a cloth, brought her to the back area of the store, hit her head, and made her lie on the floor behind the clothing racks.
Piao said the suspect then went to the cash register and broke it to get some money.
Piao said the cash register contained only about over $200 cash, but the robber also took the $1,000 that she had placed inside her bag near the register.
As the robber was looking for money in the register, Piao managed to untie herself and ran to the restroom in the back area of the shop.
Piao locked herself inside the restroom, where she shouted through the window, calling people for help.
She said a Bangladeshi man who lives in the area checked the back of the restroom and asked her what happened.
After she told him about the robbery, the Bangladeshi man then called the police and went inside the shop to check on her.
It was only then that Piao went out of the restroom and learned that the suspect had already left.
The victim said police officers later arrived.
Piao said she saw the suspect’s face because the cloth that he used to cover his face fell while he was tying her up.
Piao has been working at the shop for eight years now and that was the first time it was robbed.
Tony Lim owns the shop.
The CNMI Crime Stoppers Program is seeking the public’s help for information about the suspect.