CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- A Chandler landscaper is out a $350 piece of equipment. And the theft was caught on camera.
Surveillance video captured how the alleged thief made off with a leaf blower. But the most bizarre part was that the car that the suspect had been driving kept on rolling along behind him!
“I was standing right there watching the whole thing,” Tom Rezler said.
It happened Thursday at his house near Ray Road and Kyrene, while hired landscapers were working on Rezler's yard. His outdoor security camera caught the whole thing, too.
“I saw [the landscaper’s] brother jump out of the truck and was like, he was incredulous. He was like, ‘Oh my God, did that really just happen?’” Rezler said.
It wasn’t just that the suspect stole an expensive leaf blower; it was how he did it.
He pulled up, got out of the car he was driving, and snuck around the parked trailer to the sidewalk... while, the whole time, the suspect's own car was still on the move.
“It was either in drive an idling, or he had it in neutral and it was coasting because it’s a little bit of a downgrade, it was rolling just from gravity,” Rezler said.
While the theft was happening, one of the landscapers was taking a break inside the very truck to which the trailer was hitched. He had his headphones on, but noticed some movement in the mirrors.
“Something wasn’t right,” Rezler said of the thief. “He jumped out and he was, you know, frantic. He was literally out of his car and back in his car in 12 seconds.”
But no matter how quickly he went, his speed was no match for Rezler’s six cameras. The landscaper in the truck also managed to write down six of the seven license plate digits.
“Poetic justice would’ve been if he tripped and fell in front of his moving car, and it would have run him over,” Rezler laughed. “But we didn’t get so lucky.”
Chandler police have opened a case, and with the video and license plate evidence, Rezler’s hoping they’ll catch the guy.
“This poor guy has gotta go spend money out of his pocket because some clown wanted to steal instead of earning it himself.”