Suspicious Guard Foils Huge Electronics Heist

Jan. 9--FORT WORTH -- Police are searching for several men who attempted a heist at an electronics warehouse early Sunday, locking a security guard into an empty trailer while trying to steal trailers loaded with plasma televisions and other electronics using trucks they had driven to the site.

The robbers' attempts were thwarted, police said, after another security guard became suspicious when he could not raise the other guard on the phone and drove toward the lot.

Police believe at least seven people, several of whom were armed, were involved in the 4:30 a.m. robbery at LG Electronics at 13700 Independence Parkway. The robbers arrived in at least three to five trucks, police said.

Lt. Dean Sullivan, a police spokesman, said some of the robbers went to the security booth, where one pointed a handgun at a guard while the others disabled the security system.

As the robbers worked to hook trailers up to the trucks, one walked the guard to an empty trailer, Sullivan said. The guard was punched several times in the face before being locked inside the trailer, he said.

The other security guard had begun driving toward the lot to investigate when he spotted the robbers trying to hook up the trailers. They fled south on Independence Parkway, leaving behind two of the trucks they had brought with them. No trailers were taken.

"Two trailers were hooked up, but they didn't get them out," said robbery Sgt. David Yerigan. "As best we can tell right now, it doesn't appear they took any property."

Police said the two abandoned trucks and a third later found parked at 4801 W. Port Parkway had been stolen, two of them from the parking lot of a nearby Motorola plant. Yerigan said investigators believe two other trucks may have been used in the robbery.

This is the second theft or theft attempt at the electronics warehouse in a year and a half.

In July 2005, a thief pretending to be a trucker made off with more than $80,000 worth of televisions and related equipment. Police said that because the imposter knew the cargo's seven-digit code, the theft was not uncovered until a few hours later when the real trucker arrived to pick up the load.

Yerigan said it is unknown whether the two crimes are related.

Copyright (c) 2007, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Texas Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business News.