Bungling teddy bear thieves foiled by red light, fast witnesses

By Ben Hooper  |  Feb. 13, 2018 at 10:27 AM
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Feb. 13 (UPI) -- A pair of bungling thieves who attempted to snatch massive teddy bears from a roadside vendor in Arizona were foiled by a red light and some helpful witnesses.

A video filmed by witness Emigdio Rivas at a Phoenix intersection on Friday afternoon shows two men struggling to fit the teddy bears they snatched from a Valentine's Day pop-up vendor into their SUV.

The men fit the stuffed animals into their vehicle and appear set to make a getaway, but they find themselves slowed by a red light.

The stop light affords bystanders enough time to run to the SUV, open it's doors and take the stuffed animals back to roadside vendor Erika Gonzalez.

"When I saw it, I felt angered because I think it was two adolescents. Very young people," Gonzalez told KSAZ-TV. "It does affect me because I've worked very hard to get where I'm at, and people think that because I own a business, I have money, but that's not the case. I'm working hard to earn my money. This is my seed for my future."

Gonzalez said she is grateful to the witnesses who retrieved her wares.

"I'm glad that there are still people with a heart," she told KPHO-TV. "People that still have the courage to defend and risk. Risking because they risked themselves to help someone they didn't know. So I'm so happy. I give thanks to those people that did that."

The vendor said she has forgiven the attempted thieves.

"I send them my blessing, and hope god puts love in their hearts for others," she said.

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