Friday, August 12, 2005

TV Host Robbed On Air

TV Host Robbed On Air
Viewers Called 911

FORT SMITH, Ark. -- Viewers of an Arkansas cable access show helped Fort Smith police crack a case late Thursday night after they watched a robbery on live TV.

Gary Spirito, host of the Shopping Mania Auction Show, thought it was a prank.

When a man came in and demanded Spirito's car keys, Spirito informed his audience that this was no joke.

"There's a guy robbing us, somebody call the police, he came in with a gun. Somebody call police, there's a guy in here trying to rob us," Spirito said.

That's when Spirito addressed the alleged robber directly.

"Then I looked up at him and said, 'We're doing a live show here and there's probably hundreds of people out there right now calling the police to come down on this building, just so you know,'" he said.

Mary Schell watches the Shopping Mania Auction Show every night, but still thought Spirito's call for help was a joke.

"We thought he was kidding at first," Schell said. "Then I waited a minute after, and then I was like, 'No, he can't be joking. He can't be. Just call.'"

Spirito said the suspects escaped with nothing, but thanks to the 911 calls made by viewers, Fort Smith police caught two male suspects early Friday morning.

Fort Smith police said 23-year-old Eddie Crisp and 22-year-old Timothy Suggs are accused of robbing Keith Cox, owner of the Legacy Motor Co., at 11 p.m. Thursday. About an hour later, police said the suspects robbed Spirito.

The men face two counts of aggravated robbery and probation violations, according to police.

Only in Arkansas.

Link to video!



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