Man tries to rob grocery store, thought he would get away with it— but he didn’t look behind him

December 16, 2017 4:42 pm Last Updated: December 16, 2017 4:42 pm

A trip to the grocery store is an errand like any other. It’s something you’re compelled to do, for your own sake, fairly often. Rarely does anything exciting happen there.

But, in October, shoppers at an Aldi grocery store in Indiana witnessed a wild scene while they were out getting their favorite foods for the week.

Shoppers were busy making their way through the store, putting items in their cart. The cashiers, too, busied themselves with their work. All the while lurked a man with devilish intentions.

He wasn’t there to shop, but rather to steal. He entered the store covered head-to-toe in baggy clothes, his hood pulled up over his head, and a mask on his face.

A would-be thief entered the grocery store and demanded that the cashier empty the register.


In security camera footage obtained by the NWI Times, you can see the man walk over to the cashier as inconspicuously as possible.

Nobody has even realized he is standing there, wearing a mask, until he tells the cashier to open the cash drawer.

The cashier is confused at first, unsure of what to make of the masked man’s request. But after threatening that he had a weapon in his pocket, she quickly starts to pull bills out of the till.

Slowly, shoppers in the store are clued in to the fact that there is a robbery in progress.

A man ushers his elderly companion to a safe distance, while most other shoppers take a few steps back and watch the robbery unfold.

Just as it appears as though everyone was going to watch idly as the thief made off with hands full of cash, one man intervenes.


At first, the man who was at the register having his items scanned appears to be backing away like everyone else. He manages to get behind the thief’s line of vision, then lunges at him.

A kerfuffle ensues between the two as the thief is driven back towards the aisle, away from the register. As the two grapple next to the cereals, two other men jump in to the scrum.

The thief is brought to the ground, but not easily subdued. Another man jumps into the fray. Then another, for a total of five men pinning down the armed thief.

Police arrived on the scene quickly and found that the man was pinned down and exhausted from trying to break free.


Not only did the thief, later identified by police as Thomas Powell, fail to make off with any money, but he was immediately handcuffed. Powell was known to police, and was arrested on charges of attempted robbery.

Police are praising the brave men who put themselves in the line-of-fire to stop the robbery in progress, but have asked that citizens consider their own safety in instances like this in the future.

The courage these men summoned to intervene is undoubtedly remarkable. The first man to act was particularly brave.


He had no notion or inkling of whether or not anyone else would jump into the fray once he engaged the dangerous man robbing the grocery store.

Such bravery is rare, and on this occasion, it kept the grocery store from being robbed. It is not known if Powell actually had a weapon, but if he did, these men’s courageousness likely saved a lot more than just money from the cash register.