HOUSTON -

A suspect is in custody after being caught by a retired police officer stealing wheel caps off an SUV in a parking lot.

According to officials, Harris County law enforcement officers and staff were having a monthly meeting and retirement celebration at a deli.

During the meeting, a retired police officer was getting out of his car when he noticed a suspicious male with a screw driver kneeling down by a newer model of a black Cadillac Escalade.

The suspect, 20-year-old Johnny Deleon, had already removed two wheel caps when the retired officer approached him.

About 30 law enforcement officers inside the deli noticed the commotion outside and joined the suspect and retired officer in the parking lot.

Officers say Deleon told them he used a customer's vehicle from his workplace and stole the caps to sell at his job to other customers.

The wheel covers, valued at over $4,000, were recovered from Deleon's vehicle. Deleon was arrested and charged with theft.

"Had the suspect driven his vehicle a little further into the parking lot, he would have noticed a multitude of marked and unmarked police vehicles and may have chosen another path. Unfortunately for him, his zest for thievery overrode any form of common sense which placed him straight into the hands of law enforcements finest," said Assistant Chief Tim Cannon.