4OYS catches shoplifter in the act

Posted at: 07/10/2013 10:22 PM
Updated at: 07/10/2013 10:29 PM
By: Gadi Schwartz, KOB Eyewitness News 4

4 On Your Side originally set out to do a story about a man who walked into a Macy’s store and walked out carrying an entire display case.

On Tuesday, Albuquerque Police Department's Organized Crime Unit arrested a man for stealing an entire display case full of gold earrings valued at over $25,000 from a Macy's location at Cottonwood Mall.

Sgt. Mizel Garcia says the crime was solved with the help of a citizen who was able to record the license plate of the getaway car.

The organized crime unit says they have received help on several cases from citizens with a keen eye and the ability to record suspicious activity. In another case, Garcia says his unit was able to solve a huge credit card fraud racket because a woman noticed several credit cards being mailed in bulk at a UPS store.

"A picture is worth a thousand words," said Garcia.

So naturally 4OYS came to Macy's to get some video and before we could even set up we noticed two men walk by; one wearing gloves in the middle of the summer.

They looked suspicious, so we decided to follow them with the cameras on our cell phones.

We watched the man wearing the gloves go into a shoe store, we caught him swapping a new pair of Chuck Taylor's for the old ones. When we checked the box the old shoes were there, still warm and stinking.

We spotted the two men again and told mall security. But we watched them walk off the property before they were caught, never knowing we saw what they did from a distance with our cell phones.

4OYS is not advocating chasing anyone down, or trying to fight crime with your phone. If you see something suspicious, and you feel comfortable snapping a quick picture, do so carefully. And, of course the best use of your phone is to call police and make sure you do exactly what the dispatcher tells you to do in order to stay safe.