Carmel Valley businesses on alert after thefts

Thief is dressed as a maintenance worker

SAN DIEGO - A man seen in surveillance video stealing from a Carmel Valley dental office last week may have struck before.

"The same thing happened here, almost identical stories," said Emerald Connect employee Heather Hinkle.

Emerald Connect is about 10 miles from the dental office.

After seeing a 10News report about the theft at The Super Dentists, Hinkle said the same man in the orange vest walked into her place of business and stole from her.

Hinkle told 10News she was on a conference call in a room nearby when she saw the man enter her cubicle. Within minutes, he found her purse and grabbed her wallet out before taking off.

"My gut initially was, 'Who is this person,' but then I immediately thought, 'Oh, it's a maintenance man,'" Hinkle said.

Hinkle notified police, but so far, no arrests have been made in either incident.

Businesses in Carmel Valley are now on alert. Employees with Sagepoint Financial received an email from the building's owner with a snapshot of the worker and a description so they know who to be on the lookout for.

"I just told them just be careful, just make sure they're here on official business, not just unofficial," said Dennis Brewster of Sagepoint Financial.

Brewster takes the warning very seriously after a maintenance worker entered his office a few years ago to check the ceiling. The man ended up taking his wallet right from his top drawer.

He now makes sure everyone who enters the building is legitimate and no longer leaves valuables around.

"It's hard to imagine why someone would do that and just what it takes for someone to come to that level to basically steal it right under your nose," Brewster said.

Anyone who may have seen the man or has information on the thefts is asked to call San Diego police.

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