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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florida. ...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Oct 4, 2012

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Ricardo Meraz-Terriquez from Jerome, Idaho allegedly robbed a payday loan store in the final weekend of September.

Payday loans are readily offered online, however, payday loan stores still remain widespread across the country allowing customers to physically visit lenders.

According to the store’s employee, a man walked behind the counter while the employee was working and pointed a gun at her before saying “money,” clearly demanding cash.

As the employee was opening the safe, a customer entered the payday loan store. While appearing to remain calm, the cashier helped the customer but managed to use her guile to relay the need for emergency help.

In a clever twist, the cashier at the payday loan store wrote “911” on her hand in order to inform the customer that a robbery was underway without alerting the robber.

Cleverly, the customer—despite having a child in her company—called 911 but hung up immediately. Following protocol, the 911 dispatcher returned the phone call. Hoping to appear normal, the customer pretended to excuse herself from the store in order to answer the phone and inform police of the situation.

Meraz-Terriquez managed to escape the store with $3,400, however, as police were responding to the distress call they spotted a man walking down the street that matched Meraz-Terriquez’s description. The police proceeded to detain and search the man finding a black handgun which was revealed to be a BB gun. The stolen money was also found on the suspect.

Arrested and transported to the Twin Falls Police Department, Meraz-Terriquez admitted to robbing the payday loan store. Subsequently, the cashier who was robbed identified Meraz-Terriquez at the police station.

Meraz-Terriquez is charged with robbery and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Oct. 12.