Boot Bandit Makes Off with $3 Million Booty

Fort Worth police are searching for a bandit with an affinity for boots.

Police said $3 million in boots were taken from the Justin Boot Distribution Center during two different burglaries.

On both occasions the boot bandit cut the chain that locked the gate to the distribution center in the 3500 block of E. Long Street and used a white single-cab tractor to hook up to the trailers and leave the property.

"If somebody was paying close enough attention, they could put together a scheme," Justin Boots spokeswoman Lisa Lankes said.

During the first theft over Labor Day weekend, the thief took off with three green China Shipping containers and one faded red container that contained 10,740 pairs of boots.

The total value of the stolen boots is at $2,386,414.04.

Fort Worth Stockyards fixture Hub Baker said certain things are sacred in the Lone Star State.

"There's two things you don't do with a cowboy: You don't mess with his hat, and you don't mess with his boots," he said.

Baker, the president of the Stockyards Rodeo, suggested a punishment that might make some squeamish.

"You know what we do to young calves when we make steers out of them? That's about the best things these guys deserve," he said.

Two containers were recovered, one at Loop 820 and Forest Hill Drive, the other in Grand Prairie at Interstate 20 and Great Southwest Parkway.

Video of the incident showed the white single-cab tractor entering the property without a trailer three seperate times, each time leaving with another trailer of boots.

The second theft happened Nov. 9. This time the two green China Shipping containers were taken from the distribution center.

The containers had 9,952 pairs of boots valued at $774,747.

During the theft, a witness saw a white single-cab tractor leaving the property. The two containers were recovered in Arlington, one at I-20 and New York, the other at state Highway 360 and Pioneer Parkway.

Police do not have a good description of the man other than he is a white or possibly Hispanic, about  5 feet 6 inches tall and weighing approximately 170 pounds.

The white single-cab rig has no identifiable markings.

Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest in the case.  Anyone with information is asked to please call Crime Stoppers at 817-469-TIPS. 

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