This theft from a vehicle at the Hixson YMCA rises to the top of our list because along with credit cards, the crooks took a handgun. "It is very important for us to get illegal guns off the street," said Chattanooga Police Sgt. Victor Miller. "This is a stolen weapon, so we do want to get it off the street."
The good news: the credit cards lead us to their Target shopping spree and there, they were caught on camera. "You get a good face shot of the female suspect," Sgt. Miller explained. "The male suspect, he tries to hide his face. He turns the opposite direction in the video. He knows the cameras are there. But, you should be able to identify him by his build and the clothes that he's wearing."
The woman is wearing a pink shirt, low cut in the back. The man is wearing a ball cap, ripped pants, and multi-colored shoes. As they leave the store and casually stroll through the parking lot, again, technology is our friend. Even after the fact, we are able to zoom in on the perps and their truck. "The suspect vehicle is a gray Ford F-150," Miller said. "It looks like a rental vehicle. So, if you know someone that on March 7 of this year had a gray rental truck, then call in with a clue."
There are lessons for all of us in this case. First, when headed to the gym, do not leave valuables in your vehicle. "Go ahead and take your things and lock them up or don't bring them at all," Miller advised.
Perhaps, most importantly, if you are going to carry your firearm in your vehicle, take an extra step. "There are multiple different things that you can do as a gun owner to keep your gun safe inside a vehicle," Sgt. Miller continued. "There are safes that you can purchase that would be in your console or under your seat. Also, you can place it in your trunk or hide it in multiple different ways."
For now, though, the mission is to find this duo, end their thieving ways, and recover that handgun. Miller added, "Any little bit of information or tips that you have, please call Crime Stoppers."
Maybe you do not know them, but you think you may have seen them or that truck around March 7th. Call Crime Stoppers: 698-3333
Up to $1,000 reward is on the table.
If you get voice mail, leave a way for Sgt. Miller to get back with you. He may have questions, but he will never ask for your name.