KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Alert neighbors helped catch the suspect just a few hours after a break-in at a supermarket off Independence Avenue.
The thief left the money and went after food and water.
In the surveillance video, a masked man grabs a gallon of water and then takes off.
The thief climbs back out through a seven foot window that he smashed.
“It was about $1,500 worth of damage for a few dollars worth of groceries. The guy was homeless. If he asked, I probably would’ve given him something to eat,” says manager Janelle James.
That happened just before 1:30 in the morning. The alarms malfunctioned so manager Janelle James found out when she walked into Snyder’s Supermarket hours later. She was surprised the man didn’t touch the register.
“It’s pretty random. Most of our customers we know by name, neighborhood people, average working people. There are always a few bad apples out there,” says James.
The thief made it down an aisle to grab several cans of soup before he went after the donut sticks.
On his way out, he grabbed a gallon of water. When James saw the surveillance video, she recognized who him immediately. She says they met about a month ago.
“I said sir, can you hear me? Next time you come in you have to check your bag. He turns around and swung on me. He didn’t connect, but my staff saw that as well,” James remembers.
James didn’t see him again until the burglary. Just nine hours after the heist, she says a friend and vendor who saw the video spotted him on the street just blocks away from Snyder’s.
“Janelle, the guy in your video with the orange socks, the same back pack, same shirt, he’s right over here,” she says.
Titan Security and police made their way down Independence Avenue and arrested him. In his backpack, police found three cans of chunky soup, a box of donuts, and that gallon of water.
“If it weren’t for Avenue Angels, which is Titan Security, the police probably wouldn’t have got him the same day of the break-in,” says James.
Since then, the store has increased security by adding more cameras and upgrading the whole system.