Theft suspect caught on camera at Catoosa Co. business - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Theft suspect caught on camera at Catoosa Co. business

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CATOOSA COUNTY, GA (WRCB) -

CATOOSA COUNTY, GA (WRCB) - A Catoosa County business owner says thieves got away with more than $10,000 worth of goods this week. He tried chasing one of the men through the woods behind his store, but lost him by the time police got there. Now he's hoping images from his surveillance cameras will help catch the criminals.  

Mike Kernea owns Skyline Power Equipment on Cloud Springs Road. He sells and services residential and commercial lawn equipment, which made for a hefty pay-day for some thieves earlier this week.

Video surveillance from Skyline Power Equipment around 10 o'clock Saturday night, shows a man snooping around Kernea's warehouse. After spotting the infrared camera, he goes off screen, comes back with a mask, then covers the lens with a blanket.

"They had all day Sunday to do what they wanted," owner Mike Kernea said.

Skid marks show where the man, thought to have a partner in crime, pushed off two lawn mowers, totaling around $9,500, but didn't stop there. They siphoned around $1,200 worth of diesel fuel. It wasn't until Monday afternoon, that an employee came face to face with the thief still in the warehouse.

"Turned around and took off and slammed that door," Kernea said.

She alerted Kernea, and he ran after him through the woods.

"I saw him running down a road," Kernea said.

He chased him for several minutes, but lost sight as police arrived. They couldn't track him down. That's when they went back and saw the video. The alarm company is working to determine why the alarm didn't sound.

"It sure does aggravate you that they just keep breaking in," Kernea said.

This makes the fourth time his business has been hit.

"They like to insure people that do not get broken into and then your rates go up," Kernea said.

The previous burglaries did result in convictions. He hopes someone recognizes the man captured on camera and helps solve this case, too.

Kernea says the culprits also did a few hundred dollars in damage to a soda machine and ripped batteries out of some trucks.

If you think you have a tip that could help investigators, call the Catoosa County Sheriff's Office.

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