3 suspects charged in $20K shoe heist from Journeys at Deerbrook Mall


by KHOU.com staff


Posted on June 14, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 15 at 12:02 PM

HOUSTON – Charges have been filed against three men police say stole more than $20,000 worth of merchandise – including 289 pairs of shoes – from a Journeys store in Deerbrook Mall.

Erik Brodie, Evan Potts and Richard Alvarez are all charged with theft.

According to police, the three suspects broke into the store after hours on May 23, 2012.

The store manager told investigators that $600 in cash, 70 T-shirts, 4 wallets, 4 backpacks, 3 pairs of sunglasses, 15 belts, 2 toys, 25 sets of headphones and 289 pairs of shoes were taken from the store.

She said she reviewed surveillance video and saw three suspects taking the merchandise away in large boxes.

The manager told officers that she suspected Potts in the burglary, because he worked at the store, had closed it that night and neglected to set the alarm and shut the rear door.

The manager also said she recognized Potts’ vehicle on the surveillance video.

Investigators said the manager also suspected Alvarez, because he used to work at the store but had previously been fired.

Police said they received a Crime Stoppers tip that led them to the three suspects.

Investigators believe the suspects took the items to Alvarez’s house, and then hid them in a storage unit rented by Alvarez’s father.

When police searched the storage unit, they said they found 264 pairs of stolen shoes and 40 other pieces of merchandise inside.

Investigators said Alvarez told them he’d bought the shoes from Potts, and that he and his dad had hidden them in the unit because they didn’t want police to think Alvarez was responsible for the burglary.

When investigators interviewed Potts, he confessed to the theft but said it was planned and organized by Brodie.

Brodie, on the other hand, reportedly told investigators that Potts had planned and organized the whole thing, and that he only participated because he needed money.

Brodie said they planned to sell the stolen items at a flea market, according to police.

Charges were filed on June 12, 2012.