Surveillance cameras captured a thief during a "smash and grab" car break-in. It happened at a gymnastics and cheer studio in northwest Oklahoma City. The owner said this isn't the first time the gym has been targeted.
“It's always later at night when it's dark,” said Jeremy Sipe, owner of Cheers gym.
Sipe said his parking lot at Northwest Expressway and N. Rockwell Avenue is hit by car burglars in waves.
“It's a problem for a month, then we won't have a problem for a year, then we have a problem for a month and so it just goes back and forth,” he said.
So he decided to install security cameras around the outside of his building about six months ago. It wasn’t long before he caught his first crime on video back in March.
“Looked into several cars, parked next to several cars and got out and looked in and then finally found one,” he said as he described the video he captured.
The surveillance video shows two people inside a bright orange Dodge sedan, casing the cars in the parking lot, and then eventually parking next to a black SUV.
In the video, you see the driver get out the car dressed in a floppy hat. The video pauses then starts up again after the suspect smashes the back passenger side window. He got away with a purse that was hidden under the seat.
“It's a place where people would leave their stuff in the car and not bring it in and I guess they know that,” Sipe said referencing his gym and the YMCA across the street.
Like most nights, Sipe said there were about 60 parents and kids inside the gym the night of the burglary, but the crowds never seem to stop them.
“We have constant traffic in our parking lot and every time we think 'how in the world did they do that with people walking by,’” he said. “But it happens every time like that.”
However this time, cameras caught them in the act and Oklahoma City police tracked the pair even further to nearby stores, including Walmart, Target and Rue 21. At Target, surveillance video captured the male and female leaving the store with hundreds of dollars' worth of items they bought using stolen credit cards. Then, they were spotted leaving in the same orange Dodge. Now, with his first crime caught on video, Sipe hopes his cameras will deter future break-ins and keep his customers and staff safe.
“It picks up everything and it’s nice to have the monitors to see ‘hey, somebody just pulled up,’” he said. “So, yeah, it’s very comforting.”
If you have any information about this crime or recognize the people in the pictures or video, contact Crime Stoppers at (405) 235-7300.