Bon Air resident catches would-be thief on home security camera

Surveillance video of would-be-thief in Bon Air

BON AIR, VA (WWBT) - A Bon Air resident was in his home watching TV recently when just outside, someone was sneaking around his car.

Video shows the would-be thief targeting the family's car. The homeowner installed the camera after a recent crime and other reported crimes in the area.

"It really caught me off guard and got me upset very quickly," said homeowner Mark Tompkins.

Tompkins discovered the video the morning after it happened. He had been inside just 20 feet away while all this was going on.

"To think that I was inside just enjoying my evening, and somebody was on my property trying to go through my stuff while I'm just enjoying my space," he says.

This wasn't the first time this has happened, Tompkins said about six weeks ago, someone went into his van and stole his wife's wallet. That's when the family invested in a security system - they didn't realize it would come in handy so soon.

"I came across someone coming into the frame of the camera. Normally, it's just bugs setting the detector off, cars passing and shadows, but to actually see somebody walking into our carport was pretty unnerving," said Tompkins.

It's a problem Chesterfield County and the police department are trying to tackle with their latest public service announcement.

From 2013 to 2015, police received 3,044 reports of thefts from cars and trucks - the majority of them from unlocked vehicles.

Tompkins credits his locked doors with thwarting this crime, but he says he's committed to keep his neighborhood safe.

"As a community, I think that we can work together to find the people that are doing this, not just to deter them, but to stop them," he says.

Tompkins says he's adding more cameras and asking his neighbors to do the same. Crime prevention specialists have told him to set some of those cameras at eye level to get better shots of the face.

If you know anything about this case, call Crime Solvers at 748-0660.

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