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Valparaiso police release video of customers pouncing on Aldi robbery suspect
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Valparaiso police release video of customers pouncing on Aldi robbery suspect

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VALPARAISO — The city police department is grateful for the customers who intervened Friday night and stopped a robbery at the local Aldi store.

But the department does not recommend that civilians take the risk of interfering with a crime like a robbery, said police Sgt. Mike Grennes.

"We're just glad nobody got injured," he said.

Police said Hebron resident Thomas Powell, 36, entered the store at 2906 LaPorte Ave. shortly before 7:20 p.m. 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 Monday.

Powell was taken into custody and was to make an initial court appearance Monday afternoon on a felony count of robbery. He has other unrelated charges also pending, according to the court.

Investigators have talked to a few people who were at the store Friday night, but still are looking for a few of the individuals who helped to stop the robbery and apprehend Powell, Grennes said. Police are looking for explanations of the incident from as many witnesses as possible.

Witnesses or those involved are encouraged to contact Detective Tom Horn of the Valparaiso Police Department at 219-462-2135.

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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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