This week's Crime Stoppers suspect has a system. To bring it to an end, first, we will show you how it worked.
We begin at the downtown YMCA. Pictures from surveillance video show a male walking in. Police say the attendant was distracted by other patron, allowing him to stroll right by the front desk and straight into the locker room. "He cut a lock, took the wallet, jewelry, and keys of one of the customers there," explained Chattanooga Police Sgt. Craig Joel, "walked back out, found the customer's car by using the clicker."
The bad guy took off, but modern technology helped narrow the search. "The wife of the victim actually tracked an iPhone and an iPad in the car to the area of Hamilton Place Mall all the way from downtown," said Sgt. Joel.
It was later learned the car had been ditched a few blocks from the 'Y', but the location of the phone and the tablet tipped officers the crook may have done a little shopping. Then, it was just a matter of following the credit cards. "And we have a picture of the initial suspect as well as two companions that went on a shopping spree," Sgt. Joel said. "They spent over a thousand dollars in multiple stores there."
The best pictures come from the surveillance cameras at Belk. Have a look at the three males in the shots and pay particular attention to what they are wearing. "All mid to late teens, more than likely," said Joel, "very slim build. It's a vague description, but we're hoping, in combination with the clothing, someone might recognize them."
If you do recognize them and point police in the right direction, there is reward cash available. Get these folks off the streets before they use their system to strike again. Joel added, "The boldness of walking in, walking directly to that locker room, and clipping a bolt off while the victim could be anywhere nearby is rare."
They guys got away in an older white-colored car, but the make and model could not be determined from surveillance video.
Put all the clues together. If you can identify one or all three of these guys, call Crime Stoppers: 698-3-3-3-3
Remember, an officer may answer the phone, but he will never ask your identity. Up to a thousand dollars cash is waiting.