The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local News

August 2, 2008

Man upset over policy after run-in with burglar

PALESTINE — Daniel Bowman considers himself to be a lucky man, and an angry one.

Bowman, whose wife owns El Natural Bakery and Deli at 1900 W. Oak St., found himself Friday morning in the middle of a struggle with a would-be burglar and with City Hall over an alarm policy.

The alarm company for the bakery called about 5:55 a.m. Friday with the news that the shop’s back door appeared to be open and that when it contacted the Palestine Police Department, it was told that the police would not be responding because the Bowmans had not registered the alarm with the city.

So Bowman quickly dressed, jumped in his pickup and drove to town, arriving about 15 minutes after the alarm company had called. As he approached the bakery, he could see the back door swung open, he said, so he parked on the side and walked in, expecting the building to be empty by now.

It wasn’t.

Instead, Bowman surprised a man behind the counter where the cash register normally sat, clutching $25 in his hand.

“We don’t keep money in the store at night but we had a late sale, so there was $25,” Bowman explained.

For an instant, time seemed to stop long enough for Bowman to size the man up and realize he had no weapon and was slightly smaller than the 62-year-old Bowman.

So instead of allowing the man to flee, Bowman said he stepped forward, determined that the man was not leaving. He tried to pin the man down and call 9-1-1 but the man knocked the phone out of his hand, sending the batteries flying one direction and the handset another.

When the man tried to flee to the door, Bowman pulled it closed and shoved the padlock in place, locking both men inside. The struggle continued until Bowman pushed the man to the floor near another phone and was able to dial police to tell them what was happening.

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