Home surveillance video helped a Gilbert dad track down the crook who stole his son's football cleats the on the eve of his first big game.
Doug Merrell coaches his 9-year-old son's football team. Before the final practice leading up to the season opener, he says his son’s new cleats were nowhere to be found. After unsuccessfully scrambling to find a replacement pair before the game, he succumbed to buying a pair of shoes that were too big for the boy.
"He did the best he could but he was slower than he usually is," Merrell said. "I could see in his eyes and in his movement he wasn't himself—it's not what he wanted."
They still won the game, but it was a big loss until Merrell decided to check the footage from his new doorbell surveillance camera.
Sure enough, he spotted a woman who was delivering fliers take off with the pair of cleats.
"I was angry, frustrated, like 'What the heck is this lady doing?'” Merrell said.
Afterwards, he zoomed on the video footage of the flier she that was holding and discovered that it was for a Gilbert gym. After some extensive research, he learned that the gym uses a third party marketing company which was able to identify the woman.
A short time later, the cleats showed up at the gym. Merrell says both businesses were shocked and apologetic. The marketing company offered to reimburse him for the shoes he bought.
"I wouldn't care if it were my shoes, I'll get new ones, but it's my son, they were special." Merrell said.