Alert officer nabs burglar

By: Brandon Darnell, News Messenger Reporter
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Police arrested a 20-year-old man near Safeway at about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday for burglary, said Lt. Paul Shelgren. Justin Gwaltney of Lincoln was pulled over when an officer doing a routine security check in the Safeway parking lot saw Gwaltney’s vehicle with nonfunctional taillights, Shelgren said. When the officer spoke with Gwaltney, he noticed a bottle of Jack Daniels Whiskey, and neither Gwaltney nor his two passengers were old enough to purchase alcohol, according to Shelgren. Identities of the two passengers were not released and Shelgren said they were not suspected of any crime. After noticing the bottle of whiskey, the officer checked Safeway’s surveillance camera footage and saw Gwaltney steal the bottle, Shelgren said. “The officer was out just looking for violations,” Shelgren said, “and things just fell in place.” Brandon Darnell can be reached by e-mail at