Caught on Video: Sons Thwart Armed Robbery Against Store-Owner Father

By Tony Shin and Samantha Tata
|  Thursday, Apr 11, 2013  |  Updated 9:50 PM PDT
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When an alleged robber tried to get away with a $300 drill kit from a San Jacinto tool shop, owner Tom Palmieri ran after the man, and it was all caught by surveillance cameras. Palmieri's son and son-in-law ran to the aid of their father using tools in the shop. Tony Shin reports from San Jacinto for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on April 11, 2013.

Tony Shin

When an alleged robber tried to get away with a $300 drill kit from a San Jacinto tool shop, owner Tom Palmieri ran after the man, and it was all caught by surveillance cameras. Palmieri's son and son-in-law ran to the aid of their father using tools in the shop. Tony Shin reports from San Jacinto for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on April 11, 2013.

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Watch: Sons Thwart Alleged Armed Robbery at Father's Store

Surveillance footage shows an alleged robber walking from Hemet Valley Tool shop in San Jacinto. The store s owner and sons, who work at the shop, say the man was wielding a knife during the confrontation, most of which was caught on video. Raw video recorded on Wednesday, April 10, 2013.
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When a knife-wielding robber allegedly tried to steal a $300 drill kit from a San Jacinto tool shop, the owner of the family-run shop was rescued by his son and son-in-law, who used their own tools to thwart the heist.

Owner Tom Palmieri was manning Hemet Valley Tool about 2 p.m. Wednesday when he said a man walked in, grabbed the costly kit and left.

"I said, 'You’re not leaving with that,'" said Palmieri, who followed the man onto the sidewalk.

That’s when the man allegedly pulled out a knife and threatened to "kill" and "stab" Palmieri, the owner said.

In-store surveillance cameras captured most of the confrontation, video of which was given exclusively to NBC4 and is embedded below.

Palmieri’s son, Mike, heard the commotion.

"So I ran to the back shop and grabbed a crowbar," Mike Palmieri said.

Palmieri’s son-in-law Mark Anderson was also working at the shop at the time, and grabbed a sledgehammer before meeting his family on the sidewalk, where the alleged robber was waving a knife at the men.

"He got much more aggressive," Palmieri said. "He did come at us with a knife."

Mike Palmieri hit the suspected robber with a crowbar, forcing him to drop the knife. Unarmed, he started to run away, Anderson said.

"He tried to take off and run some direction and I ended up tripping him up with a sledgehammer and hitting him in the ankle," Anderson recalled.

The men wrestled the alleged attacker to the ground.

Nicholas Tupa, 35, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and robbery. He remained in custody Thursday afternoon.

"They came, they helped me out," Palmieri said. "Of course, I would do the same for them, so it’s family."

Palmieri said he wants to thank two customers who also helped his family.

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