Oregon restaurant customers chase, catch suspected thief

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by Cornelius Swart, kgw.com Staff

KREM.com

Posted on September 17, 2013 at 6:22 AM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 17 at 6:28 AM

MILWAUKIE, Ore —-Patrons of a local restaurant chased and captured a suspected thief in a parking lot on Sunday.

Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said 51-year-old Robert James Finanders Jr. entered Hales Restaurant on Southeast McLoughlin Boulevard and made off with the cash register only to be thwarted by restaurant customers.

Finanders entered Hales around 11 a.m. on Sunday. He walked around for a few minutes, went behind the cash register, tried to open it and then picked it up and ran.

Several patrons abandoned their meals and ran after him.

Witnesses said when he realized he was being chased; Finanders tossed the cash drawer on the ground hopped into a van. The vehicle, a stolen Dodge minivan, took off and quickly slammed into another car.

Customers then surrounded Finanders' vehicle.

That’s when Bob Catlin and Lloyd Buckley decided to pull Finanders out of the van.

The two men claim they tossed Finanders into the back of the van and held him down, until law enforcement showed up.

“There were no seats in the van, so I just threw him in there put a forearm shiver on him and held him, “ Buckley said. “And he was a little guy. Bob’s probably, you know, 250 pounds and I’m over 400 so he wasn’t going anywhere once we got on top of him.” The suspect didn't talk a lot.

"He couldn't say much. I was choking him," Catlin said.

A knife was later recovered from inside the suspect's van.

Finanders was charged with first degree theft and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. He was held on $15,000 bail.

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