Alleged Christmas tree thieves arrested after police chase around Houston parking lot

Police arrest 2 accused of stealing Christmas trees after low-speed chase in Houston

HOUSTON (KTRK/CNN) - Two people were arrested within just a few minutes after they allegedly helped themselves to two Christmas trees in the parking lot of a Houston grocery store.

Police say Epifanio Hernandez and Vivian Montemayor put two large Christmas trees in their truck Saturday afternoon at a Kroger in Houston then tried to get away without paying.

Epifanio Hernandez and Vivian Montemayor were arrested for theft after they allegedly tried to get away with two large Christmas trees without paying for them.
Epifanio Hernandez and Vivian Montemayor were arrested for theft after they allegedly tried to get away with two large Christmas trees without paying for them. (Source: Houston Police Department/KTRK/CNN)

"It was crazy. We just didn't know what to do,” said Henry Wooley, the Christmas tree salesman.

Fortunately for Wooley, Houston police responded quickly. They pursued the two suspects for a few minutes in a chase that reached just 25 miles per hour.

"They went around the parking lot, came back, went around the parking lot, came back. Eventually, [they] stopped, and that was it,” Wooley said.

Mary Williams with the Salvation Army was just a few feet away during the alleged crime

"I actually saw them running, just on a high-speed chase with the tree on a truck,” she said. "I don't think it was funny. It was sad.”

Hernandez and Montemayor were arrested for theft.

No one was hurt during the incident.

Copyright 2019 KTRK, Houston Police Department via CNN. All rights reserved.