CLARKSVILLE, IN (WAVE) – A multi-state theft crime ring came to an end in southern Indiana. Police say every day for nearly three months, three men would steal high dollar tool sets from Lowe's Home Improvement stores.
Police believe the men are responsible for more than $80,000 worth of stolen merchandise.
The thieves thought they had their strategy nailed down, but detectives were eventually able to catch on.
"Once they pulled in, we were there within minutes and they were apprehended," said Clarksville Police Detective Sgt. Joel DeMoss.
The arrests happened quickly. Relatives Edward Roberts, James McDowell and Michael McDowell were picked up as soon as they pulled into the Clarksville Lowe's on Tuesday, but what led to their arrests took time.
"These three individuals had been doing this on a daily basis since the beginning of November," said DeMoss.
Police say the three men would leave their Central Kentucky home and drive for several hours, stopping at multiple Lowe's from Danville, Kentucky to Southern Indiana. Police say first one man would go in and buy a high dollar tool set.
"They would come back out with a legitimate receipt give it to his accomplice, walk back into Lowe's, pick up that same article, walk back out with the receipt in hand and article in hand where it kind of looked like he had purchased it," said DeMoss.
It's a method they repeated before visiting another location to return the items for cash.
By the end of December, police were able to zero in on the men they saw on surveillance.
Police say this crime spree nearly came to an end on Monday after a loss prevention officer chased the suspects out of the Lowe's off of Preston Highway.
A day later they were arrested and police say one of the men told them everything blaming their theft ring on a pill addiction.
"I felt like he was one of the most honest criminals I've ever spoke to in my life," said DeMoss.
All three men are being held at the Clark County Jail and face numerous felony charges. A spokeswoman for Lowe's says they appreciate the corporation with local law enforcement to help make these arrests.