Man Steals Car From OKC Body Shop In Broad Daylight
OKLAHOMA CITY - A brazen thief was caught on camera stealing a car from a local auto body shop Monday morning. The car's owners have little hope that he will be caught in person.
The man arrived at Portland Automotive on foot and left in a brand new set of wheels. This was a classic case of a crime of opportunity, but little did he know, the suspect was captured clear as day on surveillance video.
“It’s not perfect, but it was our car and it was paid for,” owner David Bellew told me after the theft.
The Bellews dropped their red Solara off at Portland Automotive for routine maintenance before the start of a routine work week. The Camry had been earning the couple some extra cash.
David said of his wife, “This weekend she started working with Door Dash and another service.”
Moments after opening shop, however, an employee greeted a man who walked in for a drink of water. He immediately inquired about the car's cost.
“He wasn’t even looking for buying that car,” Bellew noted. “He’s looking at stealing that car.”
When the worker was distracted by a phone call, security cameras show the man snatching the keys from the overnight drop box, calmly walking outside and driving away.
David says the theft will affect his family's livelihood.
“I’m not a real rich guy,” David admitted. “I work at Walmart, but Walmart always has a job opening I think. This guy could have gotten a car with a job.”
He is not confident in seeing the Solara returned safely, as he is still scarred from thieves stealing another one of his cars 30 years ago.
“It was totaled,” David recalled. “They took it on a joyride and crashed it. I was woken up at 6 o clock in the morning by police. I had no idea it was stolen.”
Workers at the body shop plan to be more cautious about the strangers they let in off the street, but David and his wife just hope to see their car again.
“I want the car found and in one piece,” said David. “We’ll be happy with that.”
Police are hoping someone recognizes the suspect and calls Crime Stoppers at 405-235-7300.