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Man pleads guilty to botched robbery caught on video at Valpo Aldi

Man pleads guilty to botched robbery caught on video at Valpo Aldi

From the This week in local crime news: Gary firefighter charged with hiding Walmart shooter from police is off payroll, but was allowed to finish training series

VALPARAISO — A 37-year-old Hebron resident, who was caught on video attempting to rob the local Aldi store when other customers intervened, pleaded guilty Friday to that offense and several others.

Police said Thomas Powell entered the store at 2906 LaPorte Ave. shortly before 7:20 p.m. Oct. 6, 2017 wearing a mask. He demanded money from the cashier and implied he had a weapon in his pocket, police said.

By the time officers arrived, five or six individuals were holding Powell on the floor, according to police. All money was recovered at the scene.

Police released a video of the incident.

Powell also pleaded guilty Friday to burglarizing a poll barn and Jeffery's Jewelers, both in Valparaiso, on Nov. 19, 2016, as well as two counts of theft. The thefts involved laptops from the Duneland Boys & Girls Club, according to the court.

Sentencing will be argued, but the maximum amount of time Powell faces is capped at 12 years behind bars, according to the proposed plea agreement.

Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 21.

Recent arrests booked into Porter County Jail


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Porter/LaPorte County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Bob is a 23-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.

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