BRANDON, Fla. -
Gary Olsen of Brandon said he did not hesitate in jumping in to help a neighbor when he heard loud chains banging early Thursday morning. "I closed the gates on him. He knew he was done. He knew he was caught," he said.
Hillsborough County deputies credit Olsen with helping them catch suspected repeat burglar, William Leon.
Olsen said he shut the gates and stood guard after he heard and saw Leon break into the back area at the Lighthouse Family Thrift Store at 535 Brandon Blvd. "I just closed the gate as tight as possible and stood in front of it. He wasn't going to move me," Olsen said.
Assistant Manager at the story, Ed Kulik, showed ABC Action News the incident as caught on their surveillance cameras. The tape reveals the suspect backing his truck up to the loading dock of the thrift store and appearing to try and steal several items.
Minutes later, Olsen appears from the neighboring business where he works and a mechanic and traps the suspect inside the back gated area. Deputies arrived a few minutes later. They said they were already in the area and watching the thrift store because of other recent break-ins.
"It's great to know there are people in the community willing to stand up for you even when you're not around," Kulik said. He added the Christian thrift store has been burglarized five times over the past month.
Stolen items include scrap metal, cookware and broken electronics totaling several hundred dollars of loss. "This goes to pay for our programs, including a women and children's program where they can stay for as long as they need to get off the street," Kulik said.
Deputies said Leon is now booked into the Hillsborough County jail on 16 felony charges.
They said they believe Leon is responsible for all five burglaries at the Lighthouse Family Thrift Store over the past month.