Suspected looter caught on camera stealing from tanning salon

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Suspected looter caught on camera, Miya Shay reports. (KTRK)

When John Paliatsos closed his tanning salon, Bronze Bar, ahead of Hurricane Harvey, the last thing he expected was to get looted. After all, he and his business partner Celia Aguero were more worried about flooding.

Then, on the night of Monday, Aug. 28, as flood rescues were going on across our community, someone decided to break into the tanning salon and loot.

"I walked through here, and the entire back of the desk here, was all taken apart," said Paliatsos, who estimate he lost just a few thousand dollars' worth of product, but was angry it happened at all.

Meanwhile, Aguero posted about the looting on her Facebook page, where it was shared more than 100 times. A few days later, she got a message via the salon's Instagram page. The sender gave the name, date of birth, and social media handle of a person the sender says was the looting suspect.

"I immediately was shocked that someone sent me their first, middle, and last name, and then I started a search," said Aguero, who believes the social media tip and her surveillance video match up. "I was freaking out and calling my business partner, you have to pull the tapes, you have to pull the tapes, and we have to match the picture."

These business partners are now turning the video and information over to Houston police, hoping to add this man to the 18 people already arrested for looting.

RELATED: Police catch 14 armed robbers and looters amid flood emergency

This looting incident follows others that have also been captured on video throughout the Houston area. Earlier this week, a Sugar Land Hindu temple shared video of a man taking items from its facility that was being used as a shelter.

Then there was the high profile arrest of two men from Michigan who allegedly looted a home they were hired to clean.

Overall, however, Houston police report the cases of looting have been fairly low. So far, 18 people have been arrested within the city for the crime, the owners of Bronze Bar are hoping to make it 19.

For those who are thinking about a similar crime, the police chief's warning a week ago still rings true.

"When you take advantage of people and prey on this under these circumstances, that are despicable behavior, and we're all going to push hard to make sure you don't see sunlight any time soon," said Chief Art Acevedo.


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