Crime Stoppers: Thief gets a surprise during a double break-in

Updated: Jan. 31, 2018 at 8:44 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A west Charlotte business was broken into not once, but twice, on the same weekend. Police say it was the same burglar, who got a rude surprise when he came back for more.

At the Keith Clinic Estramonte Chiropractic Center, just off Freedom Drive and I-85, surveillance shows a man throwing a brick through a glass door at 1:13 a.m. on a Saturday morning.

Despite an alarm sounding, we can see him with an armful of computers and software, valued more than $2,300. Police just missed getting there in time to catch him.

Thirty-six hours later, on the same weekend, he tried it again.

"He gained some confidence and says, well, you know, 'I'm going to go back because I didn't get caught the first time.' So, he comes back Sunday afternoon," CMPD Detective Brandon Miller said.

This time, he's in the clinic's parking lot, breaking into the courtesy van. He pops the hood and pulls the battery out.

"Car batteries are heavy. You can take it to a scrap yard get quick cash for it. It's really difficult for us to track it that way."

When he disappears with the battery, he doesn't see that a female employee has just pulled into the lot, parked and gone up the stairs and inside to work on a Sunday.

After stashing the battery, he finds another brick, throws it through the glass and gets inside. But because he was unaware of the employee inside, he was in for a shock.

"When he walks in, the clerk inside hears the glass break and she runs over to the door and she sees him and yells out to him. He turns and runs away."

He was last seen driving a Honda Pilot toward Ashley Road.

"With this guy's confidence like it is right now, we've got to get him off the streets before he starts breaking into more businesses."

Detective Miller says he may have been spotted at a nearby bus stop, so it's possible he lives or works in the area.

Police describe him as a black male, mid-30s, about 170 pounds wearing a camouflage hat with red shoes. If you know this man, you can earn a reward by calling Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 and you won't have to leave your name.

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