71ºF

Teen arrested in armed robbery of bakery

Joseph Kwizera, 17, pointed gun at employee, police say

SAN ANTONIO – A 17-year-old has been arrested and charged with robbing a West Side bakery at gunpoint the day before Valentine's Day.

According to an arrest affidavit, Joseph Kwizera was wearing a hooded jacket when he pointed a handgun at an employee at La Popular Bakery on Rivas and Zarzamora streets and demanded money.

The affidavit also said the victim only spoke Spanish and could not understand him, but that she assumed she was being robbed. She handed Kwizera the money but he continued to yell, so she gave him the remainder of the money in the register and threw herself on the floor. Kwizera ran out the door.

However, the employee told the officer that Kwizera was not wearing gloves when he grabbed a paper bag.

It was the fingerprint on the paper bag that helped officers track Kwizera down.

Angela Mercado, who works at the bakery, said they believe the same person came back a second time to rob them five days later.

"I've never been so scared like in these last couple of weeks," Mercado said. "I have just been super extra cautious, very aware of everyone coming in."

Mercado said they didn't have their surveillance cameras up the first time they were hit, but they got video of the suspect the second time.

"He came in and the girl was in the back at our sink," Mercado said. "And he sees her from afar and starts pointing the gun at her and yelling."

The employee's husband was there at the time and attempted to open the register, but had to call his wife to help.

When they got the register open, they handed the suspect the money and he took off.

The La Popular Bakery that was hit opened less than three weeks ago.

Mercado said other business owners around the area warned them about an armed robber. So she said they're relieved police made an arrest.

"It's really good that he's caught," Mercado said.

Kwizera has not been charged with the second robbery that was caught on surveillance video.


About the Author: