ONLY ON 13: Boot store worker shares traumatic moment she was put on chokehold by robbery suspect

Charly Edsitty Image
Friday, July 7, 2023
Worker choked for her troubles while trying to stop boot thief: HPD
Houston police are looking for a suspect accused of stealing from a boot store on East Little York and choking an employee who chased after him.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Shoplifting at a boot store turned into a more dangerous situation for a 21-year-old employee who said she was choked by a man as he was stealing merchandise.

The incident happened on April 11, just before 6 p.m.

"I really hope someone recognizes this man so we can capture him," Yareli Sosa, who chased after the shoplifter, said.

Sosa tells ABC13 she was working alone in Yordi's Boots on East Little York near Werner Street.

Houston police said the suspect walked into the store and grabbed three pairs of boots before running out.

HPD surveillance video shows Sosa chasing after him in the parking lot.

"I caught up to him right at his car before he opened the door," she said. "I grabbed his shirt, and we were tugging on the boots, and he grabbed my neck and held me in a chokehold."

Sosa said the man was squeezing her neck, and she got dizzy. She let go, and the man released her, taking off in an older white pickup truck.

According to Sosa, this is not the first time the man has targeted the store.

Back in March, she claims the same man came into the store and tried to steal several pairs of boots, but bystanders were able to stop the man in the parking lot before he got away on a bike.

"I want to say to be careful out there," she said. "I confronted him, but I don't recommend others do the same. You never know if they have a weapon or if they could hurt you in some way."

The suspect is described as a Black man with a thin build wearing a white shirt.

Authorities urge you to contact Crime Stoppers of Houston directly if you have any information related to this investigation.

Information leading to the charging and/or arrest of any felony suspects may result in a cash payment of up to $5,000. Tipsters must contact Crime Stoppers directly to remain anonymous and to be considered for a cash payment by calling 713-222-TIPS (8477), submitting an online tip at or through the Crime Stoppers mobile app.

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