The strong armed robbery of a fireworks stand overnight has several teenagers facing loss of their independence. About two in the morning Tuesday the suspects threatened an unarmed security guard with a board.
The thieves grabbed about $5,000 worth of fireworks in a 20 minute spree. They cleared several tables of expensive fireworks and crammed it all in a van.
After the robbers left, the part time security guard called police and the van was stopped by a LaVista officer. Two 16 year olds were arrested but five others ran off.
Papillion police recovered all the stolen fireworks in tact. Lt Chris Whitted said the use of a two by six to threaten the overnight fireworks stand employee makes this more than a simple theft. Whitted said, “There are enhanced penalties for that. This is a serious situation and even though there was no other weapon present its still an act of violence.”
Stand owner Don Bellino said the thieves took big bang items. He has 10 armed security officers patrolling his stands across the metro to prevent future robberies. Bellino said, “There’s been some shoplifting from time to time but as far as somebody actually taking something by force, this is the first time in 35 years of business.”
Papillion police have leads in identifying the five suspects who fled the traffic stop by the LaVista officer.