Tacoma business owner shares story after being robbed at gunpoint inside her convenience store

A Tacoma business owner is sharing her experience after she was robbed inside her convenience store. It happened at the 76 Food Mart on the corner of 26th Street and Stevens Street.

Lakhena Pon says she was working Tuesday evening when a man came up to the register to pay for a soda. But instead of pulling his wallet out of his pocket, he pulled out a gun.

Surveillance video captured the moment the suspect demands, “Give me the money. Give me the money. Give me the money.”

Pon says she was terrified, but quickly pulled out the cash register.

“I pray in my mind,” says Pon. “I say God, God please help me.”

The man took the money from the register before thanking Pon on his way out the door.

“At least he says thank you! He takes all my money but at least he says thank you,” said Pon.

Tacoma police are investigating the robbery, with Crimestoppers offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads the suspect’s arrest.

Pon tells KIRO 7 she is terrified the suspect may return, but still returned to work the next day. Pon and her husband have owned the food mart for 31 years and are the only employees. They both work seven days a week.

Customers say the Pons and their food mart are a community staple and deserve to feel safe.

“They’ve always been so pleasant and nice to everybody,” says long-time customer Daryl Hamlin. “To have somebody come in with a gun and rob her and threaten her like that, it’s horrible for the whole neighborhood. It’s really a statement as to where crime has gone in Tacoma, really.”

Pon says this is the first time in 31 years that the food mart has been robbed. She hopes the suspect is caught soon.