A tip called into Crime Stoppers led police to a stolen trailer and the suspected thief who took it from the parking lot of a local church.
San Antonio police spokesman Sgt. Javier Salazar said a tip led officers to the 11100 Block of Vance Jackson Tuesday and that's where they spotted the stolen trailer and the suspect who was in the process of painting it a new color.
"It appeared he was trying to repaint the trailer to change its appearance," Salazar said. "Apparently, he may have seen it on TV and was trying to change its appearance."
The 29-year-old suspect, who wasn't immediately identified by police, told reporters he knew the trailer belonged to a local Boy Scout Troop as he was being led out of the Nroth Side substation where he was questioned be detectives.
The suspect said he needed the money and said he was sorry for stealing from the Scouts.
Salazar said the trailer was stolen from the Community Bible Church on Loop 1604 early last Wednesday. A surveillance camera caught the thief in action.
SAPD sent that short video clip out to all local news media Monday and within hours, they got the tip that led them to the trailer.
Officers watched the suspect paint the trailer and then moved in for the arrest. They said most of the $8,000 in camping gear was still inside the trailer when it was recovered.
Police said the arrest shows the importance of citizens getting involved when they know something about a crime and proves once again that Crime Stoppers works.
"They do work and community involvement is the key ... to a lot of crime prevention, so in this instance, it all worked out," Salazar said.
The suspect's name has not been released yet because he hasn't been officially charged.
He will be facing felony theft charges and could end up doing 2 to 20 years in jail if convicted.