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Caught on video: Thief causes havoc at Santee business park

Posted at 5:46 PM, Aug 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-09 21:01:38-04

SANTEE, Calif. (KGTV) — Cameras caught a thief wreaking havoc at an East County business park, culminating in several destructive acts after he realized he was locked in.

Scott Trafton has seen the video countless times, but his emotions have yet to lessen.

"Aggravating and makes me angry," said Trafton, who owns XP Builders.

Just before midnight last Thursday night, a truck is seen driving into a business park on Wheatlands Court. The truck, believed to be a Chevy Silverado, is parked in the dark for more than four hours, before a man emerges and heads toward Trafton's general contractor business.

In the video, the man grabs items from the truck bed, before prying open a toolbox in the back. A knife at this side, the man would get away with more than a thousand dollars with of Trafton's tools.

"It hurts being a small business. Every penny counts," said Trafton.

Trafton is not the only victim. The thief left behind a trail of shattered truck windows and missing items.

"Basically took whatever wasn't bolted down," said Trafton.

When the man went to leave, he was met by a gate, locked by someone who had left earlier. The camera spies him apparently chaining his truck to the fence and pulling forward, but he can't get the fence down.

"He then came over to another truck and broke a window. He then took a moving blanket to protect his truck and drove to another fence," said Trafton.

In the video, you can see the flash of his lights, before his final act.

"He ran into the fence, spread it wide open and knocked it over," said Trafton.

The repair bill will tally some $7,000. Trafton worries about what the thief may do next.

"He doesn't care about the aftermath, as long as he gets what he wants," said Trafton.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Santee sheriff's substation at 619-956-4000.