Would-be tow truck thief targets a business owned by a police officer, gets nabbed by alert employee

CLEVELAND - A thief chose the wrong business to target. His attempt to get away in a tow truck in broad daylight was dashed by an alert employee, but the story does not end there.

News 5 spoke exclusively to the garage owner Dwayne Webb, who also happens to be a police officer. Webb was off-duty when he came face-to-face with a man who tried to make a quick buck off one of his trucks.

His mechanic, Chris McChristian was pulling up to the garage at K & M Towing at 130th and Bellaire in Cleveland when he noticed A strange man driving away with one of the tow trucks.

“I said who are you? And he sped off," said McChristian, who was on his motorcycle at the time. “He took off down the road. I flipped my bike around, chased him about a quarter mile, and forced him to pull over."

The suspect then quickly made up a story, saying he was sent to pick up the vehicle. McChristian, not buying it, convinced the crook to return the truck.

"I made him drive it back," said McChristian.

When McChristian brought him back to the garage, Webb placed him under arrest. Webb is an officer with the Wakeman police department.

“I'm a helpful guy. If you'd ask for help, I would have helped you instead of stealing my truck," he said.

While waiting for Cleveland Police to arrive, the suspect told Webb why he targeted K & M Towing.

"He said four years ago he had a relapse and this year he's having another relapse. He was going to sell the truck for more drugs," said Webb.

As for how the suspect could so easily drive off with a tow truck in the middle of the day: Drivers keep their keys on the front seat while the garage is open.

"We'll probably hang up the keys from this point on," said McChristian.

Webb tells News 5 this is another example of just how serious the heroin problem has become in Northeast Ohio and he really hopes the community can find a solution.

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