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Stranger helps businessman nab burglar

| May 30, 2008 12:00 AM

To the Editor:

'Make a difference If you can'

It was O-Dark-30, Wednesday, May 14th, when the phone started ringing ' very rarely a good thing and this morning that was true.

The sheriff's dispatch was on the line to let me know that my shop, Flying Tiger Hobby, had been broken into and that I needed to meet the deputy on scene as soon as possible. The only good news was that the burglar had been apprehended.

Arriving at the scene, I was met by a deputy and Libby Police Department officer. I was not real happy about the whole incident, but they both told me about how a citizen had made a difference in what could have been a really huge loss for my business, family and myself. Taking nothing away from these guys, who were performing their jobs to the max I want to share what they did.

Glen Jacobs is a heavy equipment factory technician, who was in town servicing some of his company's products at the Troy mine. He had come back to the Caboose Motel for the night after a long session on the machines. He had stepped out of his room for a breath of air, when he noticed someone in the parking lot next to my shop and heard suspicious sounds.

Figuring someone was breaking into a storage unit, he did the right thing ' he got involved by calling 911. City and county law enforcement arrived quickly ' before he got off the phone with dispatch. When he was told the officers were on the scene he went out to see them put on the cuffs. Little did he know his involvement would quickly escalate.

When Officer Scauflaire put his light to the broken window, where the perpetrator had forced entrance, the front door of my shop flew open and the burglar took off like a startled deer. With both officers in pursuit, Glen, dressed in sleep pants, took off through the hallway of the Caboose upon hearing 'stop that man!'

Exiting the hallway, he was able to grab the burglar by his coat, which came off in his hands. Undeterred, Glen kept after the suspect, eventually tackling him. The two officers arrived seconds later and the apprehension was made.

Glen's actions were not without personal sacrifice. Running barefoot, he seriously cut both feet, the fall at the end of the chase caused serious abrasions and bruises.

'I just reacted,' said the 101st Airborne Division US Army veteran.

Later that morning, when I brought Glen back from the emergency room, he was feeling the pain and wanted a few hours sleep before going back to Troy. The next afternoon, he came over to Flying Tiger. I should say hobbled over, and we talked a bit more.

Glen said out of the incident he had met a lot of nice people in Libby and was hoping he could get back soon. He said his wife told him he was too nosey sometimes, but he told her that sometimes you have to put your nose into stuff to make a difference. I'm sure glad that a guy, who had no reason to get involved 'just reacted.'

When my time comes to make a difference, I hope I stick my nose in.

Cyrus Lee

Flying Tiger Hobby