A 20-year-old suspected hubcap thief learned the hard way not to ply his trade where police are holding a party.
Johnny Deleon was arrested and charged with theft, a Class B misdemeanor, about 9:30 p.m. Oct. 23 outside a delicatessen at 4700 Cypress Creek Parkway, according to the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office.
Deputies said the constable's staff was holding a monthly meeting and retirement party at the deli. When a retired Houston Police Department officer arrived, he spotted a man, later identified as Deleon, squatting down beside a newer-model black Cadillac. He was using a screwdriver to take the center caps off the car's wheels, deputies said.
The officer confronted Deleon. Moments later about 30 deputies inside the deli heard a commotion and rushed outside to see what was happening. They saw the retired officer holding Deleon at bay.
Deleon was taken into custody. Deputies said he told them he had used the car of a customer at his workplace and stole the center caps from the wheel covers. They said he told them he planned to sell the caps to other customers at the business.
The caps were valued at a total of more than $400.
"Had the suspect driven his vehicle a little further into the parking lot he would have noticed a multitude of marked and unmarked police vehicles and may have chosen another path," said Assistant Chief Tim Cannon with the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office. "Unfortunately for him, his zest for thievery overrode any form of common sense which placed him straight into the hands of law enforcement's finest."
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