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Robbery thwarted by voice-activated headset

The man with the gun ordered workers at a fast-food restaurant not to answer the phone. But one worker's voice-activated headset didn't cooperate.
/ Source: The Associated Press

The man with the gun ordered workers at a fast-food restaurant not to answer the phone. But one worker's voice-activated headset didn't cooperate.

Police said Keith Sturgill entered a Wendy's restaurant Wednesday morning and held employees at gunpoint while waiting for a safe equipped with a timer to be opened.

When the restaurant's phone and an employee's cell phone both started ringing, Sturgill yelled that he'd shoot if anyone answered, police said. His screams activated the employee's voice-activated headset.

The caller, a friend working at a bank down the street, heard the robber screaming in the background and called police.

When officers surrounded the Wendy's, Sturgill came outside with his gun pointed to an employee's head, Sgt. Rich Weiner said. Police talked him into letting the employee go, and he surrendered a short time later — after first ramming the gun into his own forehead until he bled.

Sturgill, 35, who was on parole for a 1993 robbery and rape, was being held in jail on charges of aggravated robbery and kidnapping. He did not have an attorney listed at Franklin County Municipal Court.

Authorities likely will seek more charges when they take his case before a grand jury, Weiner said.