Storage Unit Thief Caught On Camera - FOX 42: Omaha News, Sports and Weather; |

Storage Unit Thief Caught On Camera

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By:  Melina Matthes

OMAHA (kptm) - Omaha police are asking for your help identifying the man who they say broke into several storage units. 

In this week's Caught On Camera, Fox 42 News and Crime Stoppers are working together to catch a thief. 

The owner of the storage units said the crook parked on the other side of a fence.  He then cut a hole and crawled through, stealing items from several units.  What's worse, he said several patrons at the bar next door saw him coming and going but they didn't know what he was up to.

"It's very frustrating to us and to them because about six people from that bar, including the owner, have storage units over here and for them to see how they were open at the time this was getting robbed on a Sunday night at 7 o'clock is very frustrating.  I've got cameras everywhere," Owner of Kozy Storage and Lawn Care, Joe Kozol said.

He said over the years, he's spent thousands of dollars on security equipment, but the thief didn't care.  He knew he was caught on camera and he still spent over two hours going through the units.

"You can have a camera everywhere in the storage unit and still not have every angle covered."

Police said the man broke into 13 different units at Kozy Storage. 

Kozol said the thief knew what he was doing.  He had a set of bolt cutters and only cut the small locks.  "All the locks that were cut were locks…that you could use a bolt cutter with."

The larger locks the thief left alone.  "The locks that were like this, they didn't even touch these locks because a bolt cutter can't cut these."

To pour salt in the wound, the crook then ditched the locks in plain sight.  "He tried to bury the locks under here."

But what the thief didn't realize, one of the units he broke into belongs to former police officer Bob Smith.

"Everybody uses the word violated so I guess that's a good generic term for it," Smith said.

He said the crook will be caught and he has a warning for anyone that knows him.  "Well, put it this way, a thief is thief and when it gets to certain point, they're going to steal from their buddies, their moms, their dads, their brothers, their sisters because to them, their values at that point are shot."

"Obviously he's on drugs or just very desperate.  I mean the vehicle he was driving was a nice vehicle.  I don't know what possibly could be going through someone's head, it happened at 7 o'clock on a Sunday night, what kind of a family life do you have to spend your weekend thieving?  Stealing from people, very frustrating," Kozol said.

Kozol only recommends using the larger type of lock on your storage units.  While all the items the crook stole were small, the owners say they were prized possessions that they want back.  They encourage anyone with information to turn the guy in. 

Surveillance video shows the thief getting in and out of a white SUV.  One of the back tires is black.  Police say it may be a doughnut. 

They urge anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers at 444-STOP.  They say you will remain anonymous and you could get a cash reward. 

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