Group of men catch Home Depot thief, store lets him go


by Malini Basu / KHOU 11 News

Posted on May 20, 2014 at 10:55 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 21 at 8:49 AM

HOUSTON -- Two marine veterans and a private eye tried to catch a crook at a local Home Depot.

The three stopped a shoplifter cold as he left the store on Lumpkin Road with the expensive tool.

“He ran out the sliding doors, threw the merchandise in the back of the pickup truck” said Hunter Cox, a private investigator.

The men chased the would-be-thief in their pickup and tackled him until police arrived to take him into custody.

“How do you like them tools now? There will be plenty of tools where he is going," said witnesses as the suspect sat in the police car.

Video shot by HC Investigations, a customer, captured everything as it was unfolding. The bad guy was caught, the tools were returned and the good guys get praised.

“He was going off road onto oncoming lanes onto the median area, going through parking lots,” said Kevin Shaw, who chased the suspect down along with his buddy.

“They were pleading to us to leave them alone, they didn't want more trouble” said Will Davis, who also chased the suspect.

But at the end of the day, Ricky the manager told us over the phone they aren’t pressing any charges because their asset protection officer did not see the actual theft.

Our legal expert Gerald Treece says in his 20 years, he’s surprised it ended this way. Treece says big box stores like Home Depot are careful not to accuse someone of shoplifting unless store security has actually seen the crime happen.

“it's being driven by the fear, the store has that they are going to get sued. unless they have actual proof, that this guy is a shop lifter.” Said Treece.

It means legally, Home Depot could be on shaky grounds pressing charges without its own people observing the crime. As a result, the shoplifter was set free, he walked away without any charges. All in all, a pretty bad day for three good guys trying to do the right thing.

“Let it be known to all of you hooligans, cons, criminals, the citizens of Texas are watching” said Davis.