Flea market owner takes on thief stealing bag full of items

KOKOMO, Ind. – A business owner is tired of thieves hitting his flea market. On Tuesday, just before closing time, Eric Gust says he saw a woman trying to walk out with a bag stuffed of stolen items.

“This isn’t a corporation. This is people. You’re stealing stuff from people and we all work for our stuff just like everybody else,” said Gust, co-owner of Vendor City Flea Market.

Surveillance cameras caught the confrontation at the store’s front doors.  Footage shows Gust confronting the shoplifter.

“I said ‘Hey, that ain’t your stuff you’re gonna let go of it now’ and she really didn’t have anything to say she just kind of flailed her arms,” he said.

As the thief took off, Gust grabbed the bag, which had more than $100 worth of clothes, hats and a wallet.

“There was no argument with it, she knew it was stolen. I knew it was stolen,” Gust said.

This isn’t the first thief Vendor City Flea Market has dealt with. Over the years, the family-owned business has added more and more cameras. There are now more than 70 watching to make sure shoppers aren’t stealing.

“There’s no reason to play that game.”

The footage isn’t the only clue the shoplifter left behind.  Afterwards, Gust says he found her purse.

“Inside the purse was her cell phone and some court papers with names and everything,” he said.

All the evidence was turned over to police.  No arrests have been made yet.

“You play stupid games, you win stupid prizes. That’s all there is to it.”