CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WRCB-DT) - Chattanooga Police are seeing what they call a 'significant number' of car burglaries. They believe the capture of one man could put a significant dent in the crime spree. "We don't exactly know how many vehicles, total, he's hit," said Sgt. Daniel Jones, "but we know that he's definitely become a problem for us."
Crime Stoppers offers one picture of the suspect in this week's case. He is a white male with glasses, around 6-feet tall, maybe 180 to 200 pounds. Nothing stands out about him, except what he is doing. "He's knocking out windows and basically going inside vehicles and getting stuff," explained Sgt. Jones.
"In one night, alone, in Hamilton Place Mall, we had right at about 8 vehicles that were broken into," Jones continued. "We don't know that this guy, in particular, has done all of them, but we do know he is responsible for most." As a matter of fact, he is suspected in car burglaries near Hamilton Place, Brainerd, and all the way out in Hixson.
The lone picture comes from convenience store surveillance video, as does the picture of the white utility van in which he came and went. The bad guy is stealing cash, credit cards, and identities, then shopping at gas stations and grocery stores; purchasing, it appears, as he has need.
A familiar warning rings true in this case: when parking, do not lure him with your valuables left in sight, whether you are out shopping or locking up for the night. "If you're gonna leave something in the vehicle," said Jones, "just take it out of the vehicle and put it in the trunk and close it where it's out of sight, and out of mind."
There is not a lot to go on in this case, but if you can connect the man in the photo with the van, police could solve a number of crimes and you could get a cash reward. Sgt. Jones added, "We feel that once this person is caught, a lot of our car burglaries will go down."
Up to a thousand dollars is waiting. Call Crime Stoppers: 423-698-3333
An officer may answer the phone, but we will never ask for, nor reveal your identity.