Nursery Owner Detains Thief with .22


Village of Merton — It wasn't a whole lot of cash a thief in the night was taking from W.W. Brown Nurseries.

Still, owner Randy Brown was perturbed that someone had come into his barn on a couple of nights and left with the $3 or $4 in the metal cash box each time.

So Brown said he decided to sleep in the barn several nights on bales of hay to see if he could catch the thief.

About 10:45 Wednesday night, Brown, armed with a .22-caliber revolver, surprised the thief and fired a shot into the ground to startle the intruder. Brown said the thief then threw the cash box at him.

For a time, Brown held the 24-year-old man, later identified as Andrew M. Payne, at gunpoint while waiting for Waukesha County sheriff's deputies to arrive to arrest him at the nursery, N67-W28835 Sussex Road.

The man then scuffled with Brown and attempted to wrestle the gun away from him. The gun discharged, but no one was struck, according to a criminal complaint filed in Waukesha County Circuit Court.

Payne fled before deputies got there, Brown said.

But Brown knew who the man was.

Earlier, “I insisted he give me his wallet,” Brown said.

Sheriff's Capt. Karen Ruff said deputies used identification in the wallet to determine where the suspect lived and arrested him at his residence. Read more

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


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