Store Owner Tackles Thief Who Stuffed Assault Rifle Down Pants

A store owner in Davie took matters into his own hands, tackling a would-be thief who tried to steal a rifle by stuffing it down his pants. (Published Thursday, May 28, 2015)

A Florida store owner took matters into his own hands, tackling a would-be thief outside of the Davie shop, and this wasn't your everyday shoplifter.

The thief was trying to walk out of the Public Pawn and Gun at 6798 Stirling Road with an assault rifle stuffed down his pants.

"By the time he left I noticed a bulge in his pants, so I followed him out," said owner, Kevin Hughes. "I didn't want to have an altercation in the store... too many customers and employees here."

Surveillance video shows the 19-year-old suspect, Marlon Alvarez, inspecting the three-foot long firearm inside the store for quite some time before stuffing it down his pants and under his sweatshirt.

Hughes said the suspect first tried to get away with another AK-47. He placed the firearm down his pants, but then changed his mind, putting it back on the display rack and attempted to get away with the other assault rifle.

Alvarez then spent a few more minutes in the store and employees said they thought he was acting suspicious.

"He really was more interested in being left alone, or looking for an opportunity to do what he was doing I guess," said Alan Weiner, an employee at the store.

When Alvarez walked out the door Hughes followed him, unsure if the firearm was loaded.

"Anybody can load it especially if he's putting it down his pants he could've put one in the chamber yes," Hughes said. "That's why I got on top of him, you don't have time to react, it can be scary, you just react."

Alvarez eventually gave up the gun. Hughes took him to the ground but Alvarez got away — running through the parking lot shirtless.

Davie Police officers caught up with him a few blocks away. Hughes said he was happy to have the $900 rifle back, but not because of the money.

"If he took that gun and killed 20 kids tomorrow at a school, I'm responsible for that, so that's not happening on my watch," Hughes said.

Alveraz was charged with grand theft and held on $25,000 bond. The judge later revoked bond for a May 15 arrest on theft and drug possession charges in Pembroke Pines, Florida Department of Law Enforcement records showed.