Store manager Danyanna Metoyer was speaking to 18-year-old Devin Washington about joining the team when a commotion broke out near the counter.
Police say Pablo Ciscart had asked for change for a dollar from the register when he allegedly grabbed the cash from the drawer.
"It was just so fast," Metoyer told InsideEdition.com. Luckily, she had backup.
A fellow manager first grabbed the thief, Metoyer said. He then made for the door, where Metoyer stopped him and refused to let him past.
That's when Washington stepped in.
As Ciscart attempted to push the manager out of the way, Washington grabbed the suspect from behind in a "reverse bear hug," New Orleans Police said in a release.
"He grabbed him and pulled him off me," Metoyer said of Washington. "The struggle was real. He could have hurt me."
Realizing he was outmatched, the alleged thief threw the cash on the ground. According to NOPD, Ciscart admitted to the theft to officers on the scene.
According to NOPD, the suspect had committed a similar crime earlier that day in a neighboring parish. Ciscart was booked on simple robbery and fugitive attachment charges.
Metoyer believes he could still be on the streets robbing people had they not stopped him with Washington's help.
"I'm grateful he was here," Metoyer said.
While she'd already decided to give Washington the job when the scuffle broke out, Metoyer said she was even more convinced after the robbery.
"He earned it," she said.