UNIVERSITY CITY, Calif. (KGTV) - Surveillance cameras at a computer store caught a brazen theft earlier this week, and provided enough information for a store owner to track down the criminal.
Karl Cranford has 8 cameras in and around his business, JK Computers. He says he's never seen anything this outrageous.
"It's probably the most obvious theft I've ever seen," he tells 10News.
Cranford says a customer brought a computer in for repairs on Wednesday. Later that day, the customer told him his cell phone had been stolen from his car while it was in the parking lot.
"A little bulb goes off, gee, I've got a camera, let's go take a look at it," Cranford says. "Sure enough we were able to look at it and see what happened."
The footage shows a man standing next to a white construction truck when the customer walks in. The man then opens the customer's car door, which was unlocked, and throws a few items into his truck. He then drives off.
"Right in front of the store, right in front of the camera, probably the busiest strip of sidewalk in the shopping plaza," Cranford says. "It was pretty stupid."
Even more incredible, the truck the thief was driving had a construction company name and phone number on it.
"I was able to make the phone call to the office that owned the truck, see where they were located. I went over to it and spoke to the owner, he was very helpful to get the stuff returned," says Cranford.
Cranford says the construction company owner told him the employee has since been fired. Cranford didn't call the police because he figured they'd be too busy to bother with a petty crime like this. But he sees a lesson in it for everyone.
"The cautionary tale to me is, this guy didn't lock his car and that's a shame. You shouldn't have to when you're 10 feet away in a busy place, but it's a good idea," he says.