HOUSTON - Houston police said three suspected smash-and-grab burglars were taken into custody early Wednesday following a failed attempt to steal from a Verizon Store on the east side of town.

The incident happened before sunrise at the store along the East Freeway east of Federal Road.

Police said an officer witnessed the suspects smash their Chysler PT Cruiser into the store. When they realized police were on the scene, the suspects then bailed out of the car and ran out of the store.

Officers with the Houston Police Department said the suspects ripped off their clothes as they ran in an attempt to throw off police, but officers said the trail of clothes actually helped lead to their capture. Three of the men were caught at the scene, but another one escaped by running through a nearby truck yard.

Unfortunately the damage they did to the business well exceeds any kind of money they were going to get out of it, said HPD Sgt. James Luplow. Most of these businesses don t leave all their valuables on the counter. It s usually locked up or secured somehow.

The damage at the store is estimated to be in the thousands.

Work crews were called in early Wednesday to remove the car from the store and start boarding up the storefront.

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