NH pawn shop owners fights back against crime

MANCHESTER, N.H. (WHDH) — Pawn shop owner Luke Nelson turned the tables on a thief as he pulled a gun on the robber. The owner didn't stop there, as Nelson then ran after the thief and called police.

Nelson, 31, described a heart-stopping confrontation with a man determined to rob the pawn shop he owns.

“He goes, ‘money.’ I didn't understand what he was saying because he had a wicked accent. He says, ‘where is the money?’ He pulled the gun out, cocked it back and pointed it right in my face,” Nelson said.

Nelson says 20-year-old Jonathan Rodriguez seemed to be hiding his face, so he reached for his 9mm handgun under a counter, and distracted Rodriguez by calling out his co-worker’s name.

“He was facing that way, pointing his gun because he thought someone was coming out of the back room. I pointed it right at him and when he turned around he was looking right at my gun,” said Nelson.

Rodriguez ran out of front of the door and headed for a side alley. Nelson followed the man for six blocks zigzagging. Nelson and two others chased the man through the streets; one on a scooter was thrown to the ground. Manchester police showed up and caught Rodriguez running out of a house where the men had cornered him.

“After his arrest it was almost immediately recognized that he fit the description of the suspect in similar robberies that occurred in the area of the city,” said Lt. Maureen Tessier, Manchester, NH Police Dept.

Rodriguez was charged with robbing a convenience twice store in July and with a heist at a nearby Domino’s Pizza last month.

Rodriguez faced a judge in Manchester on Thursday and faces nine charges including seven felonies. As for the pawn shop owner, police say it ended up well but they couldn't suggest it for of most.