Business owner catches thieves on tape

POSTED: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - 3:17pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 8:54am

WACO -- Two men are in custody after getting caught red handed stealing from a Waco Motor Repair Shop.

The suspects were after copper, and the metal is becoming a big problem in Central Texas.

Fox 44 spoke to Otto Caldwell, owner of Industrial Electrical, who showed up just in time to catch the burglars on tape.

Caldwell always has his camera with him.

"I always run across stuff happening all the time. I'm always taking videos and stuff. I've had a lot of them in the paper and some of them on the news," said Caldwell.

Looking back through old magazines, Caldwell shows his pictures published from the Branch Dividian Massacre.

But this time, the tables were turned when Caldwell caught two men stealing motors at his own business.

"I heard it on my scanner. I got here about the same time the police did. They caught them red handed, and they had a deer in headlights look, police said, when they came around the corner."

Caldwell caught it all on tape.

Curtis Ustick and Gregory Howard were trying to steal the motors for one valuable reason: the copper inside.

Motors at Industrial Electric could bring several hundred dollars, and Caldwell has already had more than 50 of these motors stolen this year.

Just this weekend, dozens of motors were stolen when the shop's alarm system was broken. It was fixed by Sunday, just in time to catch Ustick and Howard in the act.

"I think it was a very wise investment for the burglar alarm."

Police checked local scrap metal shops for any of the stolen motors with no luck. They warn businesses to be on the look out for more copper thieves, saying their main targets have been air conditioners and auto shops.

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