SURPRISE: Pierce County car prowl suspect caught on surveillance video
TACOMA — One car prowl victim man has pulled all the stops trying to catch the burglar that broke into his car and took off with high-priced electronics.
The incident happened in northeast Tacoma early Saturday morning. Thanks to the homeowner’s surveillance camera, the suspect’s face is now on video — and on Facebook — for everyone to see.
“All the glass shards are down here on the grass and, obviously, on the inside of the vehicle there’s glass as well,” said victim David Swift.
“Every time you sit down and put your hand on something you’ve got a glass shard on your hand."
He’s only one of nearly a half-dozen car prowls in the neighborhood over the past several weeks.
Swift shared the surveillance video with police on Monday. It shows a suspect peering into both of his cars in the middle of the night.
“He looks through all the cars and he’s rifling through it, he’s got no fear at all that somebody’s going to pull up,” said Swift.
After first, the stranger takes a good look inside the car and then takes off. But he returns 20 minutes later to smash through the glass and swipe Swift’s backpack.
“It is the number one preventable crime,” said Tacoma police officer Loretta Cool.
Car prowls are down 5% year-to-year in Tacoma. Still, police said it’s up to drivers to make sure they don’t become victims.
“Don’t cover up a backpack with your jacket,” said Cool. “The thief may want your jacket and they get the backpack as a bonus.”
Now that Swift captured the suspect's face on camera, he’s offering a reward for anyone who knows his identity.
“I’d rather put $500 towards a reward for the arrest and conviction of this person than spend another $500 on deductible for insurance,” he said.
Investigators took still images from Swift’s video and shared them with school resource officers in an attempt to locate a possible suspect.