Surveillance video catches suspect stealing from cars

Local News

Some crimes may go unnoticed at night, but surveillance video easily caught a suspect stealing from cars in a Sioux Falls neighborhood.

A homeowner says he’s had trouble with break-ins in his west Sioux Falls neighborhood. He bought a security camera, and the footage he gave us shows someone going into his car and truck, both parked right in his driveway. KELOLAND News routinely reports on long stretches of suspects getting into unlocked cars, and that’s why police are once again reminding you not to leave yourselves easy targets for thieves looking for a quick steal.

We met Gene Palmer in downtown Sioux Falls, on a particularly noisy part of the day. That’s why, after work, he loves going back home to South Morrow Drive.

“It’s secluded. I’m not near any traffic. It’s quiet,” Palmer said.

It wasn’t so quiet Wednesday night at about 10:30 p.m.

“I think probably just maybe turned my light off and went to bed,” Palmer said.

Surveillance video shows a man with a backpack walking up to a car, easily opening a front door, and rifling through what’s inside. Then he turns his attention to the truck, and does the same thing.

“We had our bedroom windows open. I’m surprised, my wife is a very light sleeper, neither one of us heard anything,” Palmer said.

Palmer says the suspect got away with some tools, a flashlight, and some cassette tapes. However, he may have left behind an important clue to help investigators. More on that later. First, police say this is pretty common.

“It’s a quick, easy crime,” Sam Clemens said.

Police investigate these crimes frequently, and Sioux Falls Police public information officer Sam Clemens says many of those cases involve suspects looking for guns. Palmer says the stolen cassette tapes were in a case, resembling a handgun case. He believes that’s why the suspect may have stolen in. Officers say these crimes are more likely to happen if you don’t lock your doors.

“That’s probably a lot of our crime. A lot of our petty thefts, unlocked cars. We know that. It’s just a matter of getting people to change their habits,” Clemens said.

Which brings us back to Palmer’s video. If you watched it, were you able to spot that important clue? If you were paying attention, you may have noticed the suspect isn’t even wearing anything to hide his face. Palmer hopes that’ll help investigators.

“I just think you might want to be a little nervous, because we have a lot of good information and might figure out who you are,” Palmer said.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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