When 70-year-old Mavi McFarlane found that burglars had smashed their way into her Gig Harbor, Washington, home, she felt violated.
The thieves had stolen jewelry, electronics, credit cards, and even a few family letters.
“I was very upset. I felt sick to my stomach,” she said.
But instead of panicking, McFarlane decided that she would track down the “creeps” who’d stolen from her.
“I said, ‘You know what? I’m going to catch these creeps and I’m going to get all the information in a package and I’m going to give it to the police so they can go do their job,'” she added.
So McFarlane went to the nearby gas station to notify them of the incident and showed staff surveillance footage of the robbers in case they came back.
She also decided not to immediately cancel her credit cards, which allowed her to follow the thieves through transactions as they used her cards.
And sure enough, the suspects decided to show up at the Gig Harbor gas station trying to use the credit cards just five days after they’d robbed her.
Thanks to McFarlane’s plan, the clerk recognized the robbers and pressed the panic button to alert police. He was able to stall them until police arrived by hiding one of their cell phones under the counter.
“I just did it, I had to hold them I called the cops,” he said. “When they figured I have the phone, I told them I took your phone I’m not going to bring it back.”
Police arrived just in time and arrested the 32-year-old and 27-year-old suspects. They also searched their vehicle, where they found evidence including a gun, methamphetamine, heroin, and jewelry and credit cards, both stolen from McFarlane and other victims.
The thieves have since been booked in the Pierce County Jail on burglary charges. Police are still looking for the other victims of the crimes in order to return their stolen possessions.
As for McFarlane, she is thankful to have been able to help stop the robbers.
“It felt so good to get these people off the streets,” she said. “Because they had stolen stuff in the car then that wasn’t mine, but other people that they had robbed.”
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