MILWAUKIE, Ore. – A man failed to cash in when he attempted to steal a register from Hale's Restaurant in Milwaukie on Sunday, police said.
Police said 51-year-old Robert James Finanders Jr. was chased down and restrained by customers after he ripped the cash register off the counter and ran out of the restaurant at around 11 a.m.
Witnesses told police Finanders walked into Hale's, walked around for a minute or two and tried to open the register. When he couldn't, police said he changed tactics, grabbing the entire thing and running out the door.
The witnesses said he jumped in a van and drove a short distance before he ran into another vehicle, allowing the customers to catch up and detain him.
Those customers were Bob Catlin and Lloyd Buckley.
Catlin was sitting in a booth with his wife and mother-in-law when he heard a commotion and saw a man run out of the restaurant with the cash register. Catlin took off after the man.
During the pursuit, the suspect dropped the cash register in the parking lot and then jumped into his getaway van.
"He got the van started – started to try to get out of the parking lot and another person was backing up and he crashed right into him," Catlin said Monday.
He and Buckley got the suspect out of the van and put him in the back of it, holding him until deputies arrived.
Police said the van turned out to be stolen, and when they searched it, they found a knife.
Finanders was arrested on charges of first-degree theft, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and a Multnomah County parole hold warrant. He was taken to jail.
After the morning’s excitement, Catlin went back into the restaurant to finish his breakfast.
"Wonderful breakfast, they have good food here," he said.
KATU News reporter Dan Cassuto contributed to this report.