Jan 21, 2021 4:48 PM

Employee at Neb. business uses bear mace to thwart robbery

Posted Jan 21, 2021 4:48 PM
Gastineau-photo Lincoln County
Gastineau-photo Lincoln County

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. — A North Platte man is being held in the Lincoln County Detention Center, accused of robbing a local business.

According to North Platte police, on Jan. 18, at 11:20 p.m., officers responded to a business in the 1600 block of East Fourth for a robbery that had just occurred.

Police say upon arrival, officers made contact with an employee who stated the suspect had departed on foot prior to officers arrival.

According to police, the employee stated that the male suspect had entered the business and approached the front counter. The male suspect then demanded money from the employee and made movements that led the employee to believe the suspect had a weapon.

Police say the employee reached under the counter and then sprayed the suspect with bear mace, which encouraged the suspect to leave the store empty handed.

Officers were able to obtain security footage of the incident and identified the suspect as 34-year-old Steven Gastineau.

Police say after further investigation, officers were able to develop probable cause, and contact was made with Gastineau on January 20.

Gastineau was placed under arrest at that time and a subsequent search of Gastineau's person was conducted where officers located suspected methamphetamine.

Gastineau was incarcerated at the Lincoln County Detention Center on suspicion of robbery and possession of methamphetamine.

Police did not identify the business.