PHOENIX – Three people were caught on video smashing cars in a north Phoenix neighborhood. One of the victims is betting his own prize money in hopes of catching the thieves.
“When you’re wearing a ski mask, you’re stealing knives, you’re one step away from violent crime,” said Jim, a homeowner who asked ABC15 to use only his first name.
Security cameras caught two people stealing from cars outside Jim’s home this week. He says two went through the cars and one was in a getaway car.
“The whole thing was under a minute. They ran away. They checked my neighbors’ doors. They checked the car doors at my house,” added Jim.
Unfortunately, one of the cars in Jim’s driveway near 52nd Street and Greenway Road was unlocked.
“I noticed when I woke up in the morning there was a mess in the car,” added Jim.
Jim looked inside the car and found a number of items had been taken, including an electric car charger and a hunting knife.
“It’s a little scary because you start thinking, oh my god, are they going to use it? Fortunately, it wasn’t a firearm. But will they use the knife in another crime,” added Jim.
Jim pulled up images from the surveillance video showing a man on camera getting into a car wearing a black mask. He shared another person between cars with an orange mask.
He even got hold of photos of someone’s shoes and a limited-edition T-shirt that he thought could be identified.
“They didn’t steal things of great value, but they stole peace of mind. It’s hard to get your composure back when something like that happens,” added Jim.
Jim spent a lot of time going through video, cropping images and talking to the police. He hopes that and offering a $500 reward will help officers catch the people seen on his surveillance video.
“This whole neighborhood is concerned. So people want to see these people at least held accountable and so we can have peace of mind.”