Mission impossible: Burglar uses grappling hook in Academy heist, police say

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by Kevin Reece / KHOU.com

kens5.com

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 9:14 AM

BAYTOWN – An ambitious burglary suspect was caught in the act Wednesday night at an Academy Sports store in Baytown, according to police.

They say 29-year-old John Clements made a grappling hook and tied it to a rope to climb up to the roof of the store on Garth Road. The burglar broke a skylight and lowered himself into the store.

The plan was working pretty well until the store’s motion detectors set off the store alarm system. Clements apparently lost his nerve and shimmied back up the rope and onto the roof, police said. He jumped onto a semi-trailer that was parked in the back.

By then, a police officer had arrived and was waiting for Clements.

"American Ninja, I guess," the officer said as he took Clements into custody.

The Academy was open Thursday and customers were amused when they heard the story of the "Mission Impossible" wanna-be.

"Uh, did he have a Spiderman outfit on?" said Rick. "That’s pretty amazing. Our economy, I guess, is getting to that point. That’s pretty crazy."

"Well I guess we need to put him on the TV for dumb criminals. "The Dumbest Criminals," I guess that’s the name of that show," Charlotte Hooks said. "Well, I’d tell him he needs to get him a job. He’s not a very good thief."

Police don’t know what the burglar was planning to take from the store. But it probably wasn’t a rope, since he already had one.

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