National News

Feb 26, 2013 5:30 PM by NBC News

Grandma tackles robber

(WOOD) Surveillance video shows a cane-wielding grandmother witness an armed robbery and then tackle the suspect as he tried to make a run for it with the money.

It's a story that had people talking when it happened in November 2009, but the surveillance video wasn't made available until a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit was resolved.

The video starts with the typical ins and outs at the Walgreens store in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but it takes a surprising turn with the presence of two people: A guy who enters to rob the place and unsuspecting grandmother Sarah Smith, who uses a cane and is a regular at the store.

The robber was brazen, the video shows. He entered the store in broad daylight, moved swiftly behind the counter and threatened the clerk in front of several witnesses. He took everything from the drawer, even lifting the cash tray to take what was underneath.

And that is when things changed for the robber.

The video shows the robber was close to the exit when Smith made her move. She walked up behind him and grabbed him. The two struggled as others got involved in the tussle. Smith held on, managed to wrestle away all the stolen money from the suspect, and even tore some of his clothes.

The suspect was able to get up and fled the store. Witnesses helped track him down and he was was arrested five days later.

"We're to take back our community, and if this helps for other people to stand up when they see wrongdoing, then the job is done," Smith told 24 Hour News 8 after the crime.

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