Crime Stoppers: "Couple" cases parking lot before stealing from vehicle
Who goes on a date in a YMCA parking lot? The duo we seek held hands as they strolled around, looking for victims. Help identify them and get yourself in line for Crime Stoppers cash.
In Crime Stoppers, another theft from someone while they were working out. It should not be the case, but it is: you just cannot leave valuables visible in your car when you park it. Our bad guys, this week, appear to be a couple, but their supposed romance may simply be a ruse to help them steal your stuff.
"If the opportunity is there, if you leave valuables in plain sight," said Chattanooga Police Sgt. Victor Miller, "there's going to be criminals that are looking for that and they're gonna take the opportunity the first time they see it."
This is not our first case with this type of crime, but this time we have a pretty good look at our perps. To the Shallowford Road YMCA we go. Our pictures and video come from surveillance cameras on the evening of June 5th.
"The suspects come in a vehicle that should stand out to you," Sgt. Miller said. "It's an older model SUV. It's black in color with a brown trim at the bottom." Looks to be an older Ford Explorer or larger.
The couple parked beside what would soon be the victim's SUV then, tried to act nonchalant. These lovebirds apparently thought a romantic stroll would camouflage their crooked intentions.
"They're walking through the parking lot rather suspiciously," Miller said. "They're both holding hands, it's a male and female appearing to be a couple trying to take a stroll through the parking lot and, so they're looking at different vehicles and they walk back to the victim's vehicle where they see the purse."
They smashed the window, took the purse, and quickly went shopping.
"Then, usually, very closely they'll go to stores nearby; Walmart, things like that, where they will use the credit or debit cards they find inside," explained Miller.
They have usually finished their spree even before you have finished your workout. So, lock it, hide it, or hold it.
"That means lock your vehicle, hide any valuables that you have inside, or take them with you," Sgt. Miller said. "They have lockers inside most work out facilities where you can take your personal belongings with you."
As for this week's crooks, up to $1,000 reward is waiting if you recognize them. Or, maybe you can simply connect what they are wearing with what they are driving. That information would help, too.
"These couples have done it before," Miller added. "You can see they're casing the lot, they know exactly what they're doing."
If you happen to see someone suspicious walking or driving around a parking lot, you might call the non emergency number for police just to come make sure the person is on the up and up.
If you have any info about this weeks case or couple, call Crime Stoppers: 698-3333
That line is manned 24/7 and we will never ask your name.