Humble words from a homeless hero

By Philippe Djegal - email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A homeless hero helped police nab a suspected burglar. Last night, the man ran into the suspect, right as he was leaving a Tyler business. The man barely had to lift a finger to help put the suspect away.

"This is where I live right here," said Wayne Favorite pointing to his tent. It was just about 100 yards from the scene of the crime.

Just after midnight and with no one left to help, Favorite heard the alarm go off at Wings and Wheels. Spotting the suspect's truck, he came running and sprang into action.

"[The] alarm scares him," he said describing the situation. "He comes running toward the truck. It scared me more than it scared him. I said 'hey fella, hey boy.'"

The suspect was able to drive away, but he did not count on Favorite's resourcefulness.

"I ran back to the tent over here trying to find me a pencil to write his tag number down," said Favorite. "[I was] reciting this tag number over and over, so I don't get these numbers mixed up."

And when he couldn't find a pencil, he resorted to a backup plan.

"I slipped down, lost my flip flops, lost my flashlight," said Favorite. "So, I grab my other flashlight. I come back out here and I wrote his tag number in the dirt. Right over here. 6-9-P-M-D-9."

"Major kudos to this person that was uh, in the area and was, got involved with it," said Officer Don Martin. "He got a great description of the vehicle. Wrote the license plate down. Gave us everything we needed to locate the vehicle."

Less than 20-minutes later, the suspect was in police custody.

"I don't like to see nobody get in trouble, and, uh, this little young kid, it might be best that he got caught doing this petty thing like this before he escalates into something else you know," said Favorite. "You just take one day at a time and learn about your mistakes."

Humble words from the homeless hero.

The suspect, identified as 18-year-old Thomas Sweet, Jr., is now charged with burglary of a building. As for the good Samaritan who helped catch him, Favorite tells us he has been homeless about a year, and worked as a roofer in Port Arthur before being laid off. He tells us if you need a carpenter, he's your man. If you'd like to contact him, just call Wings and Wheels in Tyler.

©2009 KLTV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.