Cabela's customer tackles suspected thief on the run - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Cabela's customer tackles suspected thief on the run

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A Cabela's customer found more than he was looking for during a recent shopping trip. He tackled a suspected thief who was on the run.

Jujitsu student Houston Robertson says he was just in the right place at the right time, July 21. It's important to note that he was well trained in Brazilian Jiujitsu, wrestling and Judo by a local Marine and current law enforcement professional, Stacey Meeks.

Police advise the general public to leave suspect apprehension to trained police officers. 

Robertson who trains at Agoge Combative in Rock Spring says he wasn't looking for trouble, instead trouble found him. It all started when he saw a suspected thief at the front entrance of Cabela's, about to make a run for it. 

"We saw somebody that was kind of felt like he was in a weird spot, the security guards were trying to get him back inside they weren't really having any luck," said Robertson. 

He noticed the guards, trying to talk the man back inside. Robertson  tells Channel 3, that the guards are not allowed to use force. The suspect identified as Joshua Johnson, led the guards around the side, then took off down a ravine behind the store. 

"I was asking him to stop to sit down. I was keeping pace with him I knew that he would get tired soon," said Robertson. 

About 4 to 5 blocks later, the chase was still on. They went across intersections, through neighborhoods and backyards. 

"He went over a few fences, he was having a bit of a struggle getting over the fences so I asked him again to stop," said Robertson. 

Robertson says he was trying to keep an eye on the suspect when he noticed ammunition fall out of his pocket. 

"You know it being summer, there's a lot of people out and we ran past kids so I looked at it as this is a situation we had to stop," said Robertson. 

He ran faster and tackled  him. It turns out Johnson was not armed, however he was packing several stolen boxes of ammunition. All of the ammunition was stuffed down shirt, pockets, pants and boots. Police also recovered at least two boxes of ammunition, the suspect apparently threw into other people's yards.  

"That definitely crossed my mind after the fact, that ammunition can end up in the wrong hands easily," said Robertson. 

Robertson held him until police got there. He says the situation gives him a new respect for law enforcement 

There's a lot of respect that people don't give to police officers or law enforcement and it's really sad," said Robertson. 

Johnson is being held in Catoosa County jail on a $1,350 bond. He's charged with larceny-theft, shoplifting. According to the police report, Cabela's was able to recover all of the stolen merchandise. They gave Robertson a gift card to the store for his quick action. 

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