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“You’re my friend, how could you do this to me?” That was all Georgi Layous could blurt out when a long-time customer pulled a gun on the Chicago jeweler and demanded his money. Nineteen-year-old Musa Thomas had been selling gold jewelry to Layous for about five years. Now we know where a lot of that jewelry likely came from. But Thomas was angry when he found only $11 in the till. He pushed Layous and his wife to the ground, made the old man open the store’s safes and fired off a couple of shots without hitting anyone. Then the yoot yanked a gold chain from around Layous’ 4-year-old granddaughter’s neck . . .

Before leaving, the robber turned his back and began fiddling with a computer to get at surveillance video. The 66-year-old Layous — paralyzed on his right side from a stroke years ago — said he saw his chance.

Turning to his wife, he told her in Arabic, “Give me the gun.” As his grandchildren cried on a couch behind him, Layous said he took the .380-caliber pistol in his left hand and shot the robber in the leg.

Thomas is currently recovering from a gunshot wound to the hip, reports, before taking up his new residence in the Cook County Jail.

“If he didn’t get to the gun I don’t even know what would have happened,’’ said the children’s father, Joseph Layous.

He is trying to help his children understand the robbery and he hopes they will forget about it and not worry too much.

“Not all guns are bad,’’ Joseph Layous said he told his children.

Not even in Chicago.


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  1. What’s Chicago coming to when a thief robs his fence and the fence shoots the thief?

  2. I hope that from now on, Mr. Layous will re-evaluate the wisdom of dealing with 19 year-olds with unaccountable streams of gold jewelry to sell.

    • Haha, that’s what I was thinking. Especially given he started bringing it in at 14 years old…

  3. … and no follow-up investigation by the Chicago Tribune to clearly address the possibility of the shop owner actually buying any of the jewelry from the thief over the years? These Chicago stories are always fun to read. I had an apartment after college that was a couple miles from this shop.

    • Too bad your apartment wasn’t right next door to this shop, because as everyone knows, good fences make good neighbors.

  4. Glad it ended up o.k. but what the hell do you expect.
    I’m surprised it took that long.

  5. If you dance with the devil you may not like the song. Georgi is lucky his “friend” didn’t just kill everyone off the bat.

  6. Too bad he was not a better shot, we need less criminals in Jail
    and more in the Cemetery!

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