Hobbs police arrest two for clothing theft

Posted at: 11/12/2013 6:26 PM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Hobbs police arrested two people for stealing nearly $500 worth of clothes from a department store.  But as KOB Eyewitness News 4 found out, an innocent bystander got involved to take down the thieves.

It started in the Bealls department store parking lot.  A woman said she saw a man run in and out of the store with a handful of clothes.  Police said it’s what she did next that put her in a dangerous situation.

Instead of calling 911, the woman jumped in her car and chased after the thief.

During the chase, she was able to flag down a police officer who took it from there.

“We never recommend that they go chasing after them," said Hobbs Police Captain Michael Walker.

Walker said intervening during a crime like this can be dangerous.

“Anytime anybody gets involved in something like that, they may panic and it turns into a robbery instead of just a shoplifting," said Walker.

Especially in this case.  Police said when an officer approached the car, the passenger jumped out and ran.  Police later found him hiding on top of a house.

The driver stayed in the car and was arrested.

Brian Cofer and Elizabeth Reyna are charged with shoplifting.

Besides clothes, Hobbs police also found nearly $200 worth of stolen items from Walgreens in the car.