Caught on camera: Thief confronts Eatontown store owner at entrance to family business
Security cameras captured the moment when an Eatontown man was robbed at gunpoint at the entrance of his family-owned business.
Ryan Cuttler has been running the operation of his family-owned business, Cuttler Produce, for more than 10 years. But his daily routine took an unexpected turn when he was robbed. The incident was caught on a surveillance camera.
"As I came to the door, I looked to my right and saw someone walking and then running toward me,” Cuttler says.
Cuttler says the perpetrator was wearing a ski mask and claims that he was holding the gun in his left hand and was pointing it at his chest.
"Pointing at me yelling, ‘Give me the briefcase, give me the briefcase,’ that I was carrying with me as I do every day,” Cuttler says.
At first, he felt he needed to protect the briefcase. There were important documents, checks and some cash in it. He even tried to fight the suspect back.
"I kind of just started yelling back, ‘Why are you doing this? Just leave me alone,’” Cuttler says.
But he says he then thought of his family, including his precious 10-month-old daughter.
"It wasn't worth going back and forth with someone that I don't know what they are capable of doing, whether they might pull the trigger or not. And I gave it to him, they took him and they ran off with the briefcase,” Cuttler says.
With three decades running, this business has become a staple in the community and employs more than 70 people.
"This is my life. This is how I support my family and continue to grow this business. I definitely feel like they knew what they were doing and it wasn't just somebody walking the street and decided to commit that act,” Cuttler says.
Cuttler’s parents told News 12 that a briefcase with checks and money can come and go, but their son can never be replaced. As Thanksgiving approaches next week, everyone is thankful to have him safe and sound.
"Things could've gone a lot worse and I'm just happy to still be here and live another day,” Cuttler says.
Authorities are investigating this incident. The family is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to an arrest.