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Burlington yoga students catch suspected thief - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Burlington yoga students catch suspected thief

Burlington, Vermont - December 28, 2011

Bikram yoga turns up the heat to melt away stress and tension. The sweltering studio can reach 105 degrees. And that's what full-time real estate agent, part-time yogi Adam Hergenrother loves about it.

"You go there and for 90 minutes you tune out," he said. "You're concentrating with yourself, with your body, and with everything that you're doing."

But Tuesday night's class went awry when police say a thief tried to rip off the Queen City studio.

"He went in there under the guise that he wanted to take a class, this yoga class. Claimed he had done so before," Burlington Deputy Police Chief Andi Higbee said.

But the man never made it into the studio. Instead, the instructor found him in the office rifling through the drawers, looking for cash.

"You heard this ear-piercing scream-- that you hear and you know that something is immediately wrong," Hergenrother said.

Hergenrother and another male yoga student sprang into action. Adrenaline sent them chasing after 31-year-old Nathan Doyle, who also goes by Nathan Couture. The spandex-clad yogis pinned him in the parking lot and pulled wads of cash from his pockets.

"Shawn (May) was able to latch around the guy's neck and bring him down to the ground and at that point in time I got on both of them, put my knee into his back and we held him there," Hergenrother said.

"It certainly isn't something we recommend," Higbee said, "but I can understand in the heat of the moment not really having a full grasp of what was going on, the males tackled him and held him until we got there."

In court, Doyle pleaded not guilty and was held for lack of bail.

"Among other charges he has a lengthy criminal history all over the state," Vt. Superior Court Judge Brian Grearson said.

A wake-up call for an unsuspecting target.

"Did I think what happened (Tuesday) night would ever happen? No, never. I never would have thought that would happen here," said Kelley Lyons, who owns Bikram Yoga.

An owner who's now temporarily diverting her attention from therapeutic poses to security improvements.

"Maybe we'll get a safe," she said. "That may be something we would probably do now."

As a precaution studio employees already lock the outside door once a class starts, so no one can get in.

As for the yoga students, they were back at it Wednesday, completely unphased and ready to once again de-stress.

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