One suspected thief couldn’t escape Saturday after the victim followed him and described the getaway vehicle to dispatchers until Sheriff Robert Arnold nabbed the suspect on South Church Street in Murfreesboro.
Luis Feliciano-Estrada, 29, of Sam Ridley Parkway in Smyrna, was charged later with theft, driving without a license, and driving with an open 40-ounce container of beer.
Feliciano-Estrada, who is believed to be an illegal immigrant, is being held for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
Arnold said he was working at the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office when he learned Allen “Buddy” Gambill, owner of Gambill’s Surplus Supply in Christiana, followed the suspect on U.S. Highway 231 South. Arnold drove to South Church Street in hopes of locating the suspect.
“I confirmed the suspect was driving a green Ford pickup truck and made a traffic stop,” Arnold said, adding an officer with the Murfreesboro Police Department backed him up.
Arnold turned the case over to Deputy Joey Vann, who spoke to Feliciano-Estrada.
“When asked about the items in the back of his truck, he stated that his friend told him that he could have the items but could not remember the friend’s name,” Vann reported. “Mr. Feliciano-Estrada stated the he would take the items back and that the only reason he took them was to pay his rent.”
Gambill, who was on the scene, retrieved his stolen property that included a radiator, propane tanks, a steel ramp, copper and a gear box. He said he was impressed to see the sheriff respond.
“It was certainly wonderful to see the sheriff humble himself for a simple thievery instead of spending time behind the desk,” Gambill said. “This is proof he’s a working sheriff. It was very impressive, even on a Saturday.”
Feliciano-Estrada was charged and booked into Rutherford County Adult Detention Center.
A hearing is set for Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, in Rutherford County General Sessions Court.