Business manager confident that cameras will lead to crook’s arrest

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LEAVENWORTH, Kan. -- Surveillance cameras caught a brazen, crowbar-carrying burglar on tape breaking into not one, but two Leavenworth businesses. Police believe there could be more.

"It's terrible, but it's just… they'll get him," Charles Houseworth, business manager at Gerken Rent-All, said.

Police believe one man recently broke into several businesses in Leavenworth. They tell FOX 4 in late August that a surveillance camera caught him busting out a window at Gerken Rent-All equipment store, and he got away with some pretty expensive equipment.

Investigators say the video first shows the burglar walk across the Fourth Street business' rear parking lot during the early morning hours on August 27.

"We've never had a break-in here before," Houseworth said.

Houseworth said after casing their business, the one glove-wearing burglar shattered a window with a brick, kicked in the window and then quickly grabbed two brand new chainsaws from a rack before running off.

"He looked at the back door, and he saw that it was all metal framing around the door, so he passed off on that," Houseworth said.

He says the crook, who couldn't dodge the mounted cameras, stole chainsaws valued at $1,800.

"It's terrible. I mean he came in with a crowbar. He came to do damage," Houseworth said.

The fast-moving burglar left behind more than $2,000 in damage at the business.

"He has a thin build. He appears maybe in his late 30's or 40's," Leavenworth PD Major Dan Nicodemus described. “He has a thin mustache.”

Police say days before the break-in at the equipment rental store, surveillance cameras caught the crowbar-carrying crook outside, prying open the front door at the Hometown Market and gas station on North Broadway.

Cops say cameras inside were also rolling when the man rummaged through the small business and filled a black, plastic bag with $800 worth of cigarettes. Detectives believe the same videotaped burglar also hit two other businesses in Leavenworth.

"And his left hand was blank. No glove. Real smart guy, because when he leaned in to kick the window out after he put the brick through, he touched the window frame and we got his fingerprints off that hand,” Houseworth explained.

Gerken's back window is still boarded up, but workers are smiling because they're confident the video will pay off.

"He looked very stupid to me, yeah. They ought to put him on America's funniest videos," Houseworth chided.

Detectives got the one glove-wearing burglar's fingerprints off several things at Gerken Rent-All and as one worker puts it, it's just a matter of time before they catch him. If you have information that will help police arrest the suspect, you’re urged to call (913) 682-CLUE (2583).

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