Police Say Workers Were Right To Detain Suspected Thief

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Grand Island, Neb. Officers say it was the last stop in a long string of burglaries for 40-year-old Travis Bubak.

Officer Rick Roy of the Grand Island Police Department says workers at Ace Hardware on 3rd Street were startled to find Bubak had walked in the store through a back entrance and began stealing.

"They were basically things on the desk of an employee...a stapler and a couple other items," said Roy.

That's when employees took matters into their own hands.

"Several employees of the store were kind of tussling with the guy," Roy said.

It was the right move, says Officer Roy, since Bubak wasn't armed and store workers were able to hold him down until police arrived.

Each store has its own protocol when it comes to detaining a suspected thief, but it is well within their right to take action.

"According to law a store employee is one person who can hold someone if he's stolen from their store. And that's exactly what happened. They didn't hit him, they didn't attack him, they simply held him down," said Roy.

Ace Hardware employees didn't want to comment, except to say that theft is something that they, unfortunately, have to deal with.

And while their approach may have been the right one, Officer Roy cautions a less hands-on approach may be better if confronted by a thief in your own home.

"I don't know that I'd necessary recommend hands-on with the bad guy, because the bad guy might have a knife or a gun, or might be bigger than you. Of course call the police if possible, and hopefully we'll be there before he leaves."