Norman police are tracking a pattern of recurring car burglaries, but homeowners are upset the culprits have not been caught.
A neighborhood watch sign at Olde Brook Court has not deterred thieves from hitting the area time and time again. Steve Willingham is tired of watching them steal from his family right under his nose.
“You just feel so violated, helpless, and it just makes your stomach sink,” he said.
The latest theft happened just before 6 a.m. Saturday, and surveillance video shows a man pull on car door handles in the driveway until he finds one that is unlocked.
After rummaging through Willingham's wife's car, the video captures the most detailed image of the man’s face. He has a mustache and is wearing what looks like a light colored ball cap underneath a hoodie and a pullover sweater.
Willingham believes a group of kids are to blame.
“I was told one of the times I gave a report to the Norman Police Department that there’s an adult that runs this and they drop them off in the neighborhoods,” said Willingham. “They go and just check cars that are open and anything they find they bring back.”
This is the fourth time the family’s cars have been burglarized. In December, Willingham's entire pickup was stolen when he left it running while getting ready for work.
“I started my truck. About 10 minutes later, I come out to start my daughter’s car, and I walk around. I was like well, my driveway feels kind of empty, and then all of a sudden it hits me. My truck is gone,” he said.
Willingham used a GPS tracker to find his vehicle, but not before it was ruined. Both he and another neighbor, who did not want to be identified, have also had guns stolen from their cars.
They say the biggest lesson here is to consciously lock your doors.
“Make sure you double check at night before you go to bed, like I normally do,” said Willingham.
Norman police said their crime analyst has been keeping track of the burglaries with a map that is distributed to patrol officers. They encourage residents to not only lock their cars, but also make sure to take valuables inside.
Police admit it is extremely hard to catch these thieves because of how quickly and unpredictably they strike.
If you recognize the suspect in the surveillance video, call Norman police.