Crime

Vigilantes Capture Thief, Dispense Justice

Texas has long been known as a no nonsense state where breaking the law can have dire consequences, from a “good whipping” to a “quick lynching.” Today, one criminal learned the hard way that while times may have changed, Texas justice hasn’t. And maybe the rest of the country should take a lesson from the Texans on this subject.

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San Antonio Police Department Capt. Tracy Powers told a local reporter that earlier today, concerned citizens witnessed a suspect attempt to steal a woman’s purse at a Northwest Side H-E-B store. They then proceeded to chased the man until he was exhausted, held him down and then turned him over to police officers. Capt. Powers went on to say: “We need more of this. These were concerned citizens willing to get involved.”

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Police say the suspect, who’s identity was withheld, attempted to steal an elderly woman’s purse from her shopping cart at the H-E-B in the 5200 block of De Zavala Road. Three men saw the suspects attempt and began chasing him. One of the citizens was armed with a legal concealed handgun at the time, according to officials.

Police said the three citizens chased the suspect across the shopping center’s parking lot. The suspect then headed to a nearby Five Guys, where he had a getaway car waiting. Police said the vehicle was described as a red sports car. But as the thief ran towards the car, the citizen armed with concealed carry allegedly lifted his shirt and flashed his weapon at the driver.

This apparently frightened the get-a-way driver so much that he sped off without picking up his accomplice, police said. “The driver saw the concealed carry and gave up the ghost,” Powers said. The exhausted suspect gave up the chase and was apprehended by the men.

“They ran him to death,” said Sgt. Michael Oliva. “The witnesses helped a lot. Thank the witnesses.”

Employees at the Five Guys assisted in the capture and called police while two of the citizens held the suspect down until police arrived. The man armed with concealed handgun left the scene before police arrived. The suspect was treated at the scene for extreme exhaustion by paramedics. After he was released from treatment, police officers arrested him on a theft charge.

Officers said that in an attempt to get away from his pursuers, the man had dropped the purse during the chase, it was recovered and later returned to the victim. “We normally don’t like citizens getting involved, but these guys just wanted to help out a stranger,” Powers said. Powers added that police are currently tracking down the driver and expect to make an arrest soon.

This story gives a new meaning to an old saying, “don’t mess with Texans.”

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