DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – He was cornered, bleeding from the head, flinching at every warning blast from a bright pink stun gun.
Walking off with a pair of designer eyeglass frames was easy the first time the thief tried it this week.
Friday, the owners and employees at Today’s Vision in Dallas were ready for him.
Store co-owner Guadalupe Gonzalez wrestled with, chased down and shocked the thief at least three separate times before he finally stopped trying to escape. She said she decided she just wasn’t going to let it happen anymore. “The fighter in me came out,” she said.
Gonzalez, who manages the business where her husband Omar is the optometrist, said thieves stole $17,000 worth of high-end designer eyeglass frames in an early morning break-in earlier this month.
Tuesday, employees suspected a customer may have walked off with a pair of frames while they were distracted. Surveillance video showed that he did.
Friday afternoon, the same man returned. Employees called Gonzalez who was in a back office. She walked to the front door to look for security guards at the shopping complex on W. Illinois Ave. On her way to the door though, she stopped to grab a stun gun and put it in her pocket.
“I was already at the door looking for our security guard when I heard them yell, he’s running, and before I knew it he was right behind me,” she said.
After fighting for control of the door, and with her husband now at her side and on the phone with police, Gonzalez pulled the stun gun for the first time. “It scared him. He started crying and backed off.”
Video shows him cornered for a few minutes. “He’s begging please let me go, please let me go, I promise I won’t come back. I was like no sit down. You got yourself into this. You could have done anything else. Sit down.”
The thief, identified by police as 33-year-old Timothy Edelen, didn’t listen. He made a break for the back of the store. The couple chased him, and stunned him again. The he ran back toward the front, just as a security guard was walking in the front door. In a move similar to a running back diving over a pile of defenders toward the goal line, Edelen leaped into the air, only to run head first into the glass door and onto the guard’s shoulder. He was tackled to the ground, where Gonzalez pulled the stun gun trigger again.
“It makes me think ‘what was I thinking,’” Gonzales said as she watched the video replay.
She and her husband grew up in the Oak Cliff neighborhood and specifically chose to establish the business there three years ago in an effort to improve the community.
“When we’ve worked as hard as we’ve worked to put this together and try to give back to the community, you fight for it after some time.”
Edelen was treated for head wounds at the scene. Police reports say he had three eyeglass frames valued at $627. He was jailed on a theft charge and held on no bond for violating parole from a previous conviction.
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