Man suspected of stealing fireworks stands arrested after pursuit

Precinct 4 deputy constables and officers with the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office have been doing surveillance on Matthew Smith since Monday.

“We had undercover units and marked units following him a safe distance trying to get a rallying point to get him out of traffic before we tried to stop him,” said Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman.

“Because we were coming though the city and on 45 we actually did not run lights and sirens,” said Harris County Fire Marshal Laurie Christensen. “We did not necessarily pursue a chase, we just followed him until we got to this area.”

When Smith pulled into the parking lot of Kelly’s Country Cooking at the Gulf Freeway and Broadway he was taken into custody.

Law officers call him their primary suspect in last week’s thefts of two fireworks stands.

“The owner says there’s approximately $80,000 of product and equipment inside that trailer,” Christensen said.

Stephanie Case discovered her entire 26-foot fireworks stand stolen late last week.

“It’s cruel. We lost our entire home during Hurricane Harvey and we were hoping to use the money from this to rebuild,” Case said.

Authorities say Smith stole two fireworks stands and a generator from Home Depot with the help of two other men.

Smith is being charged with felony theft, felony evading arrest and possession of a controlled substance.

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