East Falls thief arrested after returning to crime scene to ask for a job

Here’s one to add to the dumb criminals list: An alleged thief who reportedly robbed Joe Long’s East Falls Auto shop, located at 3520 Indian Queen Ln., returned to the shop four days after robbing it… to ask for a job.

Owner Joe Long immediately recognized the man when he came back into the shop.

“Joe knew it was him,” said Maureen Butler, office manager at the shop, “he told him to go sweep the front of the store while he went in his office to call the police.”

Butler says it wasn’t the first time he was in the shop.

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“This guy was in and out,” said Butler, “he would come in and say ‘do you have any work,’ and we’d tell him no, but that was his scam. Here, he was leaving with tools on his way out of the shop.”

She also noticed that the man was carrying a bag with a long strap that looked like it could fit a video camera inside.

She says that when they began to notice tools missing, she started checking the security camera’s night footage. On a whim she checked the daytime footage and was able to identify Williams as the culprit of the missing tools.

“I didn’t think it was happening while we were all here,” said Butler.

The shop made a report about the 59-year-old alleged thief, Harold Williams, after he entered the repair shop on April 23. Video footage showed him approaching a mechanic’s tool box and taking a 1/2 inch impact wrench, placing it in a black bag and leaving.

Butler says there were five impact wrenches, tools used for fastening or tightening, that were stolen. She says these tools can range up to $500.

“He got away with two new ones and three old ones,” said Butler.

Williams is charged with theft and related offences.

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