Homeless man arrested in armed robbery of video store

A man living in his car with his cat faces kidnapping and robbery charges after he allegedly held up the Hollywood Video store late Tuesday night and forced an employee at gunpoint into a back room.

Samuel Leasia, 63, was booked into the Carson City Jail on suspicion of felony kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon and robbery with a deadly weapon.

According to the arrest report, deputies were called just after 11 p.m. to the business in the 4300 block of South Carson Street on the report of a robbery.

When they arrived, an employee was unlocking the front door, while a co-worker stood nearby and Leasia was preparing to exit. Leasia was allegedly holding a white shopping bag and three DVDs.

Deputy Dan Ochsenschlager said that as officers approached the door, Leasia spotted them and returned inside the building.

"I saw the subject drop the white bag on the ground and put the videos on the counter," the deputy wrote in the report. "The subject then pulled a gun from his waistband and set it on the counter."

Ochsenschlager said Leasia then exited the store and was arrested without incident. He declined to speak with police.

The employees told officers that Leasia was in the store when they locked the door for the night. He then allegedly approached one of the employees and pointed a gun at him demanding money. The employee allegedly took Leasia to his co-worker at which time Leasia made the same demand and handed the girl the shopping bag.

According to the report, the woman took the bag to the office on the pretext that she would get the money, and while Leasia and the other employee stayed in the front, she locked the office door and called police.

Leasia allegedly became suspicious because the woman was gone so long, and ordered the male employee to the office area. There, he allegedly told the employee to kick in the locked office door.

After two kicks, the woman opened the door.

When Leasia asked if she had called police, she said she'd called her husband because she was scared, the report states. Leasia allegedly then ordered the woman to empty the contents of the safe into the shopping bag.

"He told her she should not have locked the door and she could have gotten killed," according to Ochsenschlager's report.

Leasia took the bag back and told both employees to go back into the front of the store and ordered the female to unlock the door.

As he was exiting, officers arrived.

Ochsenschlager said Leasia's car, which was parked on the south side of the building, was impounded by police. He said it appears Leasia and his 8-year-old cat had been living in the vehicle. The cat was taken into custody by animal control.

The gun Leasia allegedly placed on the counter turned out to be a BB gun, the deputy said.

Leasia is being held on $40,000 bail.

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1213.


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