Man arrested for shoplifting with machete in his pants after being hit with a snow plow

Man arrested for shoplifting with machete in his pants after being hit with a snow plow. (Andrew Bisset WWMT)

The owner of a mom-and-pop shop in Van Buren County took down a robbery suspect with a snow plow Monday morning.

The Van Buren County Sheriff's Office says a masked man walked into Country Lakes General Store with a machete shoved down the front of his pants, but the 26-year-old Paw Paw man made no threats or demands.

Store owner Carl Trumbla says the suspect grabbed an energy drink and asked for $120 in Michigan Lottery scratch-off tickets.

The suspect already had one scratch-off ticket in hand, claiming it was a winner. Trumbla says he turned his back to scan that ticket and the suspect grabbed all the tickets off the counter and took off running.

Headed down M-40, the Trumbla chased the suspect down in his pickup truck. He says he yelled at the man to stop but the suspect kept running.

"So, I knocked him down with a snow plow," Trumbla said.

At the turn onto CR 352, Trumbla says he was going just a couple miles per hour when he steered corner of the snow plow into the suspects backside, pushing him down into a ditch.

Trumbla said, "I got him right there. Plastic eyebrow knocked him down after that he got back up and took off running."

The suspect ran another 30 feet before Trumbla says he tackled the suspect and held him down in the snow until police arrived.

The Van Buren County Sheriff's Office says the suspect was transported to the hospital with possible broken bones and internal injuries.

Trumbla says the suspect continued to try to fight him while on the ground and that the suspect didn't have a scratch on him when police handcuffed the 26-year-old and pulled the machete from his pants.

He said, “So it was a good sized machete.”

Because the suspect didn't pull out the knife or make any threats, the Van Buren County Sheriff's Office says he will face a charge of retail fraud, not armed robbery.

Investigators say it's very unlikely Trumbla will face any criminal charges for using the snow plow to stop the suspect.

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