Man catches scrap metal thief in Detroit, holds him for police

Property management employee catches thief in act when he went to check on house


DETROIT – A man believed to be a scrap metal thief is under arrest.

Police held him, but Stan Jones caught him.

"I happened to notice that the board was off that window," he said.

Jones was checking vacant houses for his employer, a property management company. He immediately drove his pickup truck to the back yard and found the door kicked in at the neighboring house.

"I could hear his feet moving back and forth upstairs," said Jones.

The intruder was interrupted before packing up a faucet assembly, which he cut out of the wall. Jones stood at the bottom of the stairs, pulled out his handgun and yelled at him to come downstairs.

"'Bring your butt down now! Come down now!' So he came down with a suitcase full of wire and everything," said Jones.

He marched him outside and told him to sit down on the back porch. Detroit police responded quickly but before they arrived the man told Jones, "I'm not a bad person."

"'I'm just trying to get a couple of dollars.' That's when I proceeded to tell him, 'Bro, you know, you guys tearing up the city like you're doing, honestly you're probably one of the main people talking about how bad the city is but you're perpetuating it,'" said Jones.

He said a woman who lived at the home until a year ago was one of his better tenants.

"The crime is just so bad. They had broke in on her two or three times, and yeah, she had moved out for that reason," he said.

Many of newer homes which gave this neighborhood hope now are vulnerable. Jones said metal thieves can cause more than $10,000 in damages to a single house.

"Listen, I love this city. I love this city and I believe in it, and truly, that's the element we need to do away with," he said.

Police have not released information about the man they arrested.