Police take down theft suspects after chase on Westheimer

HOUSTON – The Houston police department’s efforts to crack down on holiday theft led to a chase down Westheimer that ended with a pair of suspected thieves in handcuffs.

Police said the chase started after the men stole two boxes of tennis shoes from an Academy Sports + Outdoors store off Westheimer near S. Voss.

Officials said they have been doing proactive surveillance on parking lots to watch for thieves preying on both businesses and shoppers.

“Our main goal is to protect the public and ensure that these retail businesses and those shoppers inside are safe,” Sgt. C. Duncan said.

Duncan said officers were watching parking lots along the Westheimer corridor when they noticed a suspicious van. Duncan also said the paper plates on the van came back to a different car.

Duncan said they watched the men in the van walk into the store. Police said the driver then walked out and moved the van near the entrance of the store and turned on the hazard lights. Duncan said officers then saw the passenger run out of the store with two shoe boxes.

Officers chased the men down Westheimer until the suspected thieves got stuck in traffic, stopped and surrendered.

As officers were searching the man they identified as the passenger in the van, he spoke with KPRC.

“Anything at all the say?” asked KPRC investigator Robert Arnold.

“Got to live, too, got to have fun,” the man said.

“Got to have fun? Is this fun, getting searched by the police?” Arnold asked.

The man responded by silently mouthing an expletive.

When KPRC tried to speak with man identified by police as the driver, he unleashed a string of expletives.

Duncan said one of the men also told investigators the theft may be part of a social media trend.

“Apparently, it’s an Instagram thing now to select merchandise from these stores and run out,” Duncan said.

The men arrested were identified by police as Malik Ahmad Jelks, 19, and DaQuan Livingston, 22.

Police said both men are facing multiple charges, including evading arrest.