A Modesto man’s luck ran out when he visited the scene of his alleged crimes once too often.
Monday at about 4:45 p.m., a loss-prevention employee of The Home Depot in Riverbank was arriving for work when he recognized a man who at least twice stole from the store, according to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department.
The subject, later identified as Corey Smith, 30, was leaving the area, so the Home Depot employee followed and called 911 with a vehicle description.
The Sheriff’s Department helicopter crew happened to be in the air, department spokesman Sgt. Tom Letras said, and heard the dispatch. The copter located the vehicle and followed it to The Lakes shopping center at Oakdale Road and Floyd Avenue, where Smith pulled into a parking space in front of Strings Italian Cafe.
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Riverbank Police Services deputies already were en route to the shopping center, stopped Smith and took him into custody, Letras said.
From Home Depot surveillance video, deputies already believed they knew Smith’s identity, but no arrest warrant had yet been issued, the sergeant said. Riverbank Police Services also knew he was sought by Ceres police for a robbery at the Home Depot in that city.
Deputies took Smith to Ceres, where detectives questioned him on the robbery. A Riverbank detective questioned him on two thefts from that city’s Home Depot, one on July 30, the other on Aug. 1. “The total value of items stolen in both of those cases was $3,887,” Letras said.
Ceres Police would not comment on their case, citing the ongoing investigation.
Smith remained in custody, facing charge of robbery and assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm.
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