Alger Hardware staff follows shoplifter home

8:34 AM, Jul 31, 2013   |    comments
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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - He pushed his luck and now a shoplifter is facing charges for stealing expensive merchandise from a Grand Rapids hardware store.

Surveillance video at Alger Hardware and Rental shows the same shoplifting suspect walking out with battery powered lawn equipment on four occasions since Thursday.

On Tuesday, he made the mistake of coming back for more.

"Oh, yeah, we probably never would have found him if he hadn't come back," nods store owner Bill DeJong.

"I'm thankful he wasn't smart enough to figure out not to come back over and over again," says store manager Jeremy Lambert. "We caught him."

They had seen him so many times on video, staff in the store recognized the serial shoplifter lurking in their Eastern Ave. parking lot Tuesday afternoon.

The suspect didn't have the nerve to come into the store this time, so Bill and Jeremy followed him home.

"Ducking and hiding,  we were able to follow him all the way to Burton and Madison," says DeJong.

The pair notified the police and the suspect was taken into custody outside a residence in the 1800 block of Madison Ave.

"Definitely very happy to see him get picked up," says DeJong.

"It's very satisfying to catch the one person that's making it rough for the whole community," adds Lambert.

Tuesday DeJong says a customer came in, pointed to a weed whacker and said he'd bought one just like it from a man selling them from the trunk of a car.

He suspects that's how the thief or his associates were disposing of merchandise stolen from the store.

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