Despite flusher theft, security runs smoothly for Lufkin's Black Friday

Ernesto Maldonado mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail.
Ernesto Maldonado mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail.
Officer Alberto Ibarra.
Officer Alberto Ibarra.
Jerry Welch
Jerry Welch

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Lufkin man was caught trying to flush a cable down a toilet at a Lufkin store after he got nervous when he thought he would be caught shoplifting, according to Lufkin Police.

According to the police report, an off-duty Lufkin Police officer was working security at Best Buy when an employee told him at 4:24 a.m. they saw a man, later identified as Ernesto Ricardo Maldonado, 18, go into a bathroom with an HDMI cable.

The officer went into the bathroom and when Maldonado heard him, he flushed the cable, which he had taken out of the package, down the toilet, according to the report.

While being arrested, the officer reported Maldonado was drunk and he also gave a false birthdate.

He is charged with theft, failure to identify and minor in consumption.

The cable is valued at $29.99.

Lufkin Police Officer Alberto Ibarra's work day started at 5 a.m.

"It happens every year, you know, people get greedy," Ibarra said. "They want it and whatever means they want it, they're going to get it."

Stores ramped up security this year.

Best Buy in Lufkin doubled security and kept sales staff moving around the store.

They were keeping an eye out for shoppers needing help and at the same time watching for anything suspicious.

"We're here to make sure everyone's safe," said Jerry Welch, manager of Best Buy. "Everyone has good deals and have fun, and if those people who step out of line, or they want to take stuff that is not theirs, we want to make sure that that's not allowed either."

Black Friday deals aren't enough for some.

"You can tell when people come in here and they're looking at one item or keep on going back to that one item," Ibarra said. "People, to me, if they look suspicious, I'm going to look at them and see what they're doing and see what happens."

"This is probably the worst year we've had as far as, like, theft and things," Welch said. "But we've had double security this year just to make sure everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience."

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