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Published August 20, 2011, 12:20 AM

Harwood, ND, Businessman Helps Catch Burglars

Keith Ose turned vigilante early Thursday when he caught two teenagers burglarizing his business.

By: Kristin Daum, Forum Communications

HARWOOD, N.D. – Keith Ose turned vigilante early Thursday when he caught two teenagers burglarizing his business.

In an act some have called heroic, Ose’s efforts helped local authorities take the suspects in for questioning.

A standard call from an alarm company awoke Ose at 12:45 a.m., alerting him of a security concern at Jet-Way Multiple Services Inc., where Ose is general manager.

He assumed it was yet another false alarm but arrived at his shop a few minutes later to find a strange pickup sitting in front of the business.

Ose immediately called 911 and waited in his vehicle as he watched a teenage boy leave the shop and enter the pickup.

Shortly after, a second teenager came outside, and Ose shouted to them that the police were en route.

Ose attempted to block the boys from driving off, but they steered the pickup out of the lot and zoomed east down Cass County Road 22.

“All the years we’ve had this up here, we’ve never had any real alarm calls,” Ose said. “It was an interesting situation. ... a lot of decisions to make in a little amount of time.”

One of those split-second decisions Ose made was to take off after the boys as he continued giving details to the police over the phone.

Ose said he followed the pickup as it veered north on County Road 31, reaching speeds of about 85 mph.

The pickup didn’t have its lights on, so Ose relied on moonlight, brake lights and eventually a trail of dust to track the vehicle.

He traveled about 12 miles before losing the pickup on County Road 4 near Argusville.

But thanks to information Ose gave police and the surveillance video at Jet-Way, Grand Forks County authorities nabbed the teenagers and brought them in for questioning.

The Cass County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the “isolated” incident, but officials there said they might recommend charges of burglary and criminal trespass.

Cass County Chief Deputy Jim Thoreson said the suspects are an 18-year-old from Reynolds and a 16-year-old whose hometown is unknown.

Ose said the teenagers took wire and a battery from the shop and also cut other wires and some welding leads.

Jet-Way provides industrial services.

The value of the damage and stolen items hasn’t been calculated, Ose said.

Surveillance video at the shop showed the boys had been on the property for at least 25 minutes before they entered the building and triggered the alarm, he said.

Some neighbors and co-workers call Ose a “hero” for his effort to chase down the teens, but he doesn’t see himself that way.

“It was definitely a situation I’d never been in before,” he said. “But I wasn’t even expecting anyone to be here. It’s just one of those things you do whatever you have to.”

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