When money came up missing twice from his vehicle at a local gym, David Spivey decided to set up a hidden video camera while a friend used another video camera.
What Spivey found shocked and infuriated him, because the person believed to be breaking into his vehicle was his personal trainer and a peace officer.
Spivey, a Whitehouse businessman, said he noticed money missing from his pickup at least twice after working out at Woodcreek Athletic Club in Tyler.
“I went to a place here in town and got a camera that I was able to conceal in my pickup,” Spivey said. “I also had a friend watch my truck with a camera. I could never have guessed in a thousand years that we would actually get the guy on camera, and I can’t believe it was someone I thought of as a friend.”
The video shows a man going into Spivey’s pickup and rifling through the console before returning to the gym.
In other videos, a man can be seen taking money from the console.
When Spivey turned his video over to Tyler police, detectives assigned to the case quickly obtained arrest warrants for 36-year-old Reginald Wilson, a former Whitehouse police reserve officer and one-time candidate for Smith County constable.
Tyler Police Detective Damon Swan said Wilson was arrested Sunday on two counts of auto burglary.
Swan said Wilson is believed to have gone into Spivey’s locker in the gym, taken the keys and entered the pickup while Spivey was working out in the gym.
Wilson spoke to the newspaper last week and admitted he entered the vehicle but said he had a good reason.
“We believed that this person was selling steroids on the premises, so I was looking for the evidence,” he said. “He was sitting in his vehicle for long periods of time and we had an anonymous caller tell us what was going on. Last Friday, we were onto him and I was looking for steroids.”
However, Swan said there was no evidence of any illegal activity by Spivey.
“(Wilson) told me the same story about the steroids, but we did not find any evidence to substantiate that claim,” he said.
Upon learning of the incident, Whitehouse Police Chief Craig Shelton called Wilson into the office to surrender his badge and all equipment and resign from his position as a reserve officer for the department.
“He could not pass our training program, but until he could find another job, we were holding his commission and allowed him to work as a reserve officer a couple of times,” Shelton said.
Shelton said as a certified peace officer, Wilson knew he could not enter a person’s vehicle without a warrant if he suspected wrong-doing.
“That’s not the way we (peace officers) make cases,” he said.
Woodcreek general manager Danny Saenz said that upon seeing the video, Wilson’s contract was terminated.
“He was never an employee, but he was a contract personal trainer,” Saenz said. “Since this incident, we are implementing new policies such as routine patrols and installing more video cameras in and around the club to provide an even safer environment,” he said.
Saenz was apologetic about the incident, and wanted club members to know the management is taking steps to keep members and their property safe.
“We want everyone to know that this is their second home. We know them. We know their children by name. This is just one big family,” he said.
Spivey said the experience has left him untrusting of people.
“I can’t believe that someone I thought was my friend could do this to me,” he said. “This shows why you shouldn’t leave anything in your vehicle.”
Wilson bonded out of jail shortly after he surrendered to authorities.