COLLEGE STATION, Texas A 19-year-old College Station man is accused of trying to steal Christmas decorations from a front lawn, and the whole thing was caught on tape.
Police said the 19-year-old suspect walked onto a lawn in College Station and tried to pull the decorations from the ground. What the suspect didn't know was that the homeowner, JD Fitch, was ready and waiting.
"Over the last six years, it's happened four or five times," said Fitch.
Fitch, who runs Computer Care Online, a computer repair and printer part sales company, said he's invested a lot of money over the years in preventative measures, hoping to one day catch some of the crooks.
"Evidently worth it, yes," said Fitch.
Fitch said it was easy to track the suspect down. He said once the suspect parked his car in front of Fitch's home, he walked over to a party at a house next door.
"When they came back from the house on their way out, one of the individuals hopped the curb, pulled a hood over his head so I guess he couldn't be identified," said Fitch.
The suspect can be seen pulling on one of the ornaments for a minute or so before he gives up and drives off.
Chuck Fleeger with the College Station Police Department said the neighbors did the right thing and gave them the suspect's information.
"He indicated that his intent was not to try and steal the property, but to play a prank," said Fleeger.
Fleeger said this is a problem the city faces every year, but there are things residents can do to keep from becoming a victim.
"We ask people to be careful and watchful of their property and their neighbors."
Fleeger also suggests anchoring decorations to the ground. Fleeger said it's a good idea to be prepared for the worst.
"Use a permanent marker to write some type of identifying information," Fleeger said. "Whether it's their driver's license or some type of identifying mark so that if we do come across someone in possession of these items, we're able to positively link it to a particular person."
The suspect was cited for attempted theft, a class C misdemeanor.
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