KCK laundromat owner astonished cops caught and released crook who eventually completed burglary

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- The owner of the 24-hour laundromat at 18th and Minnesota in KCK said early Tuesday morning a man tried to steal from his business, got caught red-handed by police, but was then let go.

“They catch you, then they let you go, you can finish your work, get the money,” said Aaron Cross, the owner of Wash House.

Cross caught everything on camera, and now he wants to know why the man stealing from him wasn’t arrested the first time.

“I noticed the same person that broke into it, and I watched the whole thing that happened, and they arrested him it looked like, but they left him here on the premises,” he said. “After they left, within five minutes, he finished the burglary, and actually got into the machine, and he was set free after they caught him red-handed."

Cross Told FOX 4 he got a call from police asking him to sign a complaint form after someone burglarized his business.  He said he was shocked at what he saw on surveillance video; a man breaking into one of his video games.

“I went up afterwards, because I was pretty upset, and I said, ‘why are you leaving a guy you caught red-handed, with burglary tools, and you let him stay at the premises?’ Then he finished burglarizing me,” Cross said.

“He said, ‘you know, the type of burglary that he did is a misdemeanor,’ and they chose not to press charges, and I said, 'well, it was theft.' And it was over $1,500, which is a felony. And they also said you weren`t there to sign it, so we let him go.”

Officer Thomas Tomasic with the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department said when the officers first came to the laundromat, there was no damage to the machine. He said officers tried for an hour to contact the owner, with no luck.

Officer Tomasic said they had to give the man his tools back if they didn't have a reason to arrest him. Now that police know there's video, they plan to find the man in the video, and they know who he is.

“So in the middle of catching a burglar, if the owner isn`t there, they just let him go, is that the logic?” Cross added.

“If this is the decision-making behind our police force, we`re not safe, you can get broken into, let them go, let them finish taking your personal goods. I mean, what`s the purpose of having the police department here to protect you and your belongings? It`s flabbergasting to me.”

The owner said he has a $5,000 deductible, so replacing the machine and the money he lost will cost him more than $1,500 out-of-pocket.