MOST TEENAGERS do dumb things. But not trying-to-rob-Joe-Galiano dumb.
Galiano is the owner of Suburban Armory, the gun shop on MacDade Boulevard in Collingdale, Delaware County. There is a giant gun-shaped sign on the roof. Inside, Galiano is surrounded by guns, including the .45-caliber pistol on his hip. Can't miss it.
And the police station is just around the corner from the shop.
Despite these conspicuous crime deterrents, two teenagers nonetheless decided to throw on burqas and pull a silver handgun on Galiano about 1:40 p.m. yesterday in a botched attempt to stick him up, police said.
"They had the whole-body Muslim garb," Collingdale Police Chief Robert Adams said. "They came in with the gun and pointed it for a holdup."
Galiano, faced with the incongruous image of a male dressed in female Muslim garb waving a gun around, decided to make use of one of the many firearms at his disposal.
"It doesn't make any sense," Adams said of the attempted robbery. "He carries a gun and it's right out there in the open. He pulled it out and shot."
Cops say Galiano fired one shot at the teens, ages 15 and 17. Neither was struck, but the .45-caliber blast apparently made them see the error of their ways. They ran from the store.
One of the teens hopped onto the SEPTA Route 114 bus toward Chester and tried unsuccessfully to hide in the back. Police apprehended him and found the silver handgun on the floor of the bus.
The other teen was arrested behind a trolley stop, covered in mud and sweating profusely. Police say they recovered the burqas, a backpack with duct tape and other evidence between the Suburban Armory and the trolley stop.
Adams said he is not identifying the teens because of their ages. Their parents were called to the station. Pending charges include robbery, possession of an instrument of crime, reckless endangerment and drug possession.
Yesterday's attempted robbery isn't the first time juveniles have targeted the Suburban Armory. In 2008, five males, ages 11 to 19, broke in overnight and stole 14 semiautomatic weapons and 250 rounds of ammunition.
Adams said the 11-year-old's mom thought he was asleep in their Philadelphia home at the time of that burglary. He, too, tried to escape on a SEPTA bus. It got stuck in traffic.