Columbia Sportswear's 'Tough Mother' Foils Burglar
Gert Boyle, 86, tricked robber who roughed her up
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2010 6:04 PM CST

(Newser) – Gert Boyle, chairperson of Columbia Sportswear and the "one tough mother" of its ad campaigns, lived up to her motto when she calmly outwitted an armed burglar, the Oregonian reports. The 86-year-old was immediately suspicious of the man who showed up at her door bearing a gift basket. She declined it, then declined his second try: a request for an autograph. That's when the burglar switched over to using force: he produced a handgun and shoved her inside the house.

Boyle retained her composure and told the burglar she needed to disable the automatic alarm; in truth she activated the silent alarm, summoning the police. "I want money. I want jewelry," the man said, tying Boyle to a chair and punching her in the face, giving her a fat lip. But the police were already on their way. "She had her wits about her," said a police sergeant, "and she certainly lived up to her book title." That would be her autobiography: One Tough Mother: Taking Charge in Life, Business, and Apple Pies.