Employee chases and catches criminal by the foot during KC tire shop burglary

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A thief met his match when police said he tried to steal from a Kansas City tire shop and an employee fought back. The burglary happened around 4 a.m. Tuesday at Cross-Midwest Tire Company on Gardner Avenue in KCMO.

Jamie Johnson, a tire technician, was working alone on the overnight shift when he rounded a corner and noticed a man stealing equipment.

“So I yelled out, ‘Hey, what are you doing?’” Johnson said, “and he bolted, took off around our service trucks, I kind of chased him there.”

Johnson said it happened so fast, he didn’t have time to think; but he knew one thing – he was mad.

“I mean, I work pretty hard for the little bit I have,” he said, “and when I see somebody who`s stealing, trying to get over for free, it upset me.”

He ran towards the thief, who bee-lined for a broken window.

“He Jackie Channed straight through the window,” Johnson said. “In one jump, he went from the floor through one of those little windows in our bay door, just head first, straight through it. I was amazed.”

But Johnson was still hot on his trail, chasing the man through a parking lot, and stopping him from escaping over an 8-foot wall.

“I managed to grab him by the foot,” Johnson said, “and I pulled him down off the wall, put him in a hammer lock and told the dispatcher, ‘I have him in custody. Tell the cops come on down!’”

Police got there 15 minutes later and identified the intruder as Joseph Ault, a KCMO man with a lengthy record who was already on supervision for a similar crime. He's now in jail on a $20,000 bond, charged with burglary and theft of the tire shop's credit cards.

“I feel really good about being able to help [the police],” Johnson said, “and this is one more guy who is not going to be breaking into somebody else’s house or business and taking their hard-earned possessions.”

So as Johnson gets back to work, he’s got some advice for Ault:

“Get out of jail, get a job, earn some money, buy your own stuff. Don`t try to steal from anybody else.”