Chase leads to man's arrest after fireworks stands stolen in Cypress, authorities say


HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – Harris County officials arrested a man Tuesday believed to be responsible for stealing two fireworks stands in Cypress, according to authorities.

WATCH: Chase ends on Gulf Freeway near Broadway

Matthew George Smith, 36, was arrested after a chase on the Gulf Freeway, authorities said. He was taken into custody near Broadway Street and is charged with evading arrest, authorities said.

According to investigators at the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office, the same vehicle that was used in the theft of the fireworks stand was later used to steal a generator from a Home Depot store in Spring.

Authorities said thieves hooked up a trailer in the 11300 block of Barker Cypress Road on Friday around 4:30 a.m. and drove off with 125 pounds of fireworks valued at about $80,000. A second fireworks trailer theft happened just a day before around 2 a.m., in the 5000 block of North Highway 6 in Cypress.

Investigators said last Thursday two men walked out of Home Depot without paying for a $2,000 generator. They loaded the generator into the back of the same black Chevrolet truck seen at the other thefts and left the scene, according to authorities.

Authorities said the thefts happened while the truck was on loan.

Detectives located the truck's owner, who said he rented the truck to a man he met at a local motel. He told investigators that he had no idea about the crimes.

"We have fireworks that have been stolen. We don't know where they're being stored, if they're being stored properly or what the intended use or sale of those outside of Harris County is," Harris County Fire Marshal Laurie Christensen said. "We believe all of these crimes are tied together."