WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - If you are planning on stealing something make sure the Midwestern State University (MSU) football team isn't around. One thief learned this the hard way yesterday when he chose to take the wrong the bike for a joyride.
Wichita Falls law enforcement officials say the crime spree started at the Sikes Center mall when a male suspect took off in a car with the stolen merchandise and went Eastbound on Midwestern Parkway. The alleged suspect is 36-year-old Wichita Falls resident Maury Doshun Gregoire.
A few minutes after driving away from the mall in what turned out to be a stolen car Gregoire took a turn he would soon regret. Onto the MSU campus -- Home of the Mustangs!
Wichita Falls police officials say he parked the car here and went into the coliseum where Leroy McIlhaney's bike was parked.
Leroy is well known at MSU. He's described in glowing terms by players and facility alike as team motivator and inspirational leader. His beloved bike is his only form of transportation.
Once inside the coliseum Gregiore found Leroy's bike leaning against the wall and took off.
Witnesses say Gregoire grabbed the bike - put his stolen merchandise in the trailer attached to the back and took off. The football team was leaving the coliseum to eat lunch in the student center. Adam Hill says he saw a strange man on Leroy's bike and it didn't add up.
"I step in front of the bike about right here at this stop sign and then he takes off running to where we are right now and that's when me and Austan Davis, my teammate. We converged on him and took him down and held him until authorities could arrive."
Quinton Childs saw the commotion and also ran to help. They, long with coach Richard Renner, held Gregoire down until the authorities arrived. Hill says he was extra motivated when he saw the thief had Leroy's bike.
"One thing around here. You know - you don't mess with Leroy and don't mess with is bike. It's an unspoken rule."
All three heroes say they would do it again in a heartbeat.
"There's a sense of loyalty around here as a team on and off the field we stick together its a brotherhood man everything we do is for each other."
Coach Renner who helped capture the thief says he's very proud.
"The kids were observant. They saw something wasn't right. They were able to enact and put it to good use. We were able to come out with a positive outcome at the end."
An outcome that Leroy says he's extremely thankful for.
"I want to say thanks to them. They saved my life."
Law enforcement officials say the suspect, 36 year old Maury Doshun Gregoire, was arrested and charged with
two theft charges. One for shoplifting and one for theft of a vehicle. He's currently being held at the Wichita County Jail.