INDIANAPOLIS - A man who described himself as a metal scrapper has been arrested after police said he was caught hauling away the patio seating furniture at a Starbucks in northwest Indianapolis.
A security guard on patrol in the 1300 block of West 86th Street told police he spotted the crime happening before 1 a.m. Thursday.
Police said the guard witnessed the thief loading two metal outdoor tables and their accompanying chairs into a pickup, so the security guard followed the truck as he told police dispatchers how to guide officers to his location.
When three police officers cars arrived, officers wrote in their report that the truck sped away in the area of 6500 N. Michigan Road.
After a short chase, with lights flashing and sirens blaring through the neighborhood, police said the truck pulled into what turned out to be the accused thief's driveway in the 1700 block of Kenruth Street.
Antoine Luckett, 44, was jailed on felony charges of theft and resisting law enforcement, as well as a misdemeanor count of driving with a suspended license.
The outdoor tables and chairs were still in the back of his truck and were returned to the Starbucks, police said
Police reported that Luckett told them that he messed up and he did "something stupid," and that he ran from police because he was "trying to get home" so that his truck would not be impounded.
His plan did not work. Police impounded his truck as he was hauled to jail.
Scrap metal has been commanding such high prices that police said they have noticed more brazen and unusual rip-offs throughout Indianapolis.
Thieves have stolen hundreds of batteries from large trucks parked at business lots over recent months, an average of two to four catalytic converters are being reported stolen off cars each day citywide and homeowners have reported downspouts and even working air conditioners being stolen from their homes.
In this week's Starbucks caper, Luckett told arresting officers that the remaining metal in his truck bed, which appeared to also be bound for a scrap yard, had not been stolen.
The value of the stolen outdoor seating furniture was listed at $300 total in the police report. It was back in place at the Starbucks later in the day after the arrest.