Gun-Toting Pastor Stops Alleged Thief

PHOTO: Pastor Benny Holmes pinned the robber to the ground until the police came to arrest her.PlayABC News
WATCH Pastor Uses Gun to Stop Alleged Package Thief

A gun-toting Texas pastor laid a trap for whoever was stealing packages from his front porch, and police say the 52-year-old grandmother he caught is suspected of pilfering packages from homes throughout the neighborhood.

Benny Homes, a pastor of The Church of New Beginnings in Baytown, Texas, was frustrated after losing two mailed packages, according to Holmes' wife Pat Holmes.

"I'm going to sit here and I'm going to pull guard duty. I'm going to be a watchman on the wall," Pat Holmes recalled her husband saying.

Holmes said her husband then put out two dummy packages on the porch and waited to see if anyone would stop.

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Months earlier the couple had seen a woman on surveillance cameras twice appearing to take packages from their doorstep.

In footage released to the public, a woman can be seen allegedly calmly walking up to Holmes' porch and taking a package and putting it in her red car. In at least one instance there were two children in the backseat.

Pat Holmes said the day her husband laid out the bait, he waited hours to see if could catch the woman responsible for taking the packages.

Eventually, the woman allegedly turned into his driveway and started to walk over to the porch on the side of the house.

This time Holmes met the woman with his handgun drawn and told her to lie down on the ground while he called the police.

After stopping her, Holmes recognized the suspect as a woman he had stopped two years earlier when she walked by the side of his house claiming she was looking for a missing dog. This time Pat Holmes said the woman again claimed she was looking for her dog.

"I guess she uses that every time she gets caught," Pat Holmes said. "This time he replied, 'You found him, bow wow.'"

The Baytown Police Department in Baytown, Texas, identified the suspect as Laurie Ferguson, 52, and said she was arrested on a charge of theft, though more charges are possible.

Detective Luzette Watkins of the Baytown Police Deparment said they suspect Ferguson of being a habitual thief who took packages from the front doors of her neighbors.

Ferguson had not sold any of the items she allegedly took and police found at least 30 items in a closet in her home, Watkins said.

Pat Holmes said she has already gotten a gift for Ferguson, a cap that reads "forgiven."

Calls to numbers listed to Ferguson or her family were not answered.

Watkins said Holmes would face no charges for pulling out a gun and detaining Ferguson.

"Here in Texas you're allowed to protect the property," Watkins said.