'Toilet Paper Bandit' Steals from Local Tire Shop

Man Steals Cash and Toilet Paper from East Lubbock Tire Store

LUBBOCK, TX - The owner of a tire store in East Lubbock said the weekend burglary at her shop was "very strange."

The E. 4th Street location of Crest Tires was hit by a thief on Saturday night. Surveillance video captured a man breaking a security camera near the back door of the store.

About 20 minutes later, cameras inside show a man crawling toward the register, taking money out of it, grabbing a computer, and dipping out of frame.

Then, from the view of a different camera, the man was seen crawling with rolls of toilet paper.

"The damage they did to my door for a little bit of money left in the register, and toilet paper, is just not right," said store owner Wendy Houston.

"Maybe they wanted to get a clean getaway, I don't know," Houston said with a smile. She and her workers dubbed the thief the "toilet paper bandit." Joking aside, she said she was disappointed that the thief would steal from her business.

"They stole the toilet paper, which we're making fun of, which in all reality is sad, you know, because what if they really needed it?" she explained.

Houston said the back door was damaged, which will cost about $1,000 to replace. A little more than $100 was missing from the register, but the computer that the man tried to grab was left in the store.

According to the police report, the responding officer "observed the rear entrance door to be pried open at the bottom right corner, leaving a gap of approximately 1.5 feet of space between the edge of the door and the door frame."

"There was a broken 2x4 piece of wood within five feet of the door. I looked inside the gap and could see the other broken piece of the 2x4 within five feet of the door," the officer wrote in the report.

"I'm frustrated," Houston said. "The community tries to bring businesses to the east side and this is why they don't come. And it's very sad. It's very very sad, and I'm angry."

Houston said her five Lubbock locations have all been targeted by burglars in the past.

"It's just something you deal with as a business owner. You've got to reap the losses and move forward, that's all you can do," she stated.

Houston, who volunteers with Restoring Hope Lubbock, a group that aims to help those in need, said the burglary has inspired her to work even harder to help others who may need a hand.

"It's not going to stop anything. It's not going to change anything," she mentioned. "Just gives you more power to go on."

Houston shared a message to whomever was involved in the burglary.

"Turn yourselves in. It's not right what you've done. If you're really down and out, may God bless you," she said.

Anyone with information related to the case may call Crime Line anonymously at (806) 741-1000.

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