Theft is not a good line of work. It is particularly unwise to try making ends meet by stealing niche goods with specialized markets.
People are connected, especially these days. With a few calls and a few clicks, this guy is on our radar.
"What we think from the suspect is that he knew exactly what he was looking for," said Chattanooga Police Sgt. Victor Miller. "He was not interested in a couple of hundred dollars that was in the register or on the counter."
Chances are, he was not after anything that spring immediately to mind. At two in the morning on January 28th, investigators say the suspect crashed through the front window of the store Hipster Vibes on Hixson Pike and headed straight for some artisan-made pieces.
"What he selected were handmade pipes," Sgt. Miller explained. "They were handmade, very expensive; thousands of dollars."
The oddities in this case do not end there.
"What we know is that he took those and then, days later, those items showed up in Oklahoma where the suspect was trying to sell those to another retailer," Miller continued.
Luckily, that retailer recognized the pipes as being custom, expensive, and handmade and helped link them back to the Chattanooga theft where it was discovered he had left a great picture.
"The suspect that you'll see in the photos looks to be a white male, probably 30 to 45 years of age," Miller said. "He's wearing a hoodie with a hat, but you can very clearly see who he is."
Chances are, he is not local. In Tulsa, he was driving a gold Acura with an expired temporary tag. It had been sold there by a business that had closed. See...oddities? So, if you have friends out west, share this case, and share in the reward cash.
"Call in to Crime Stoppers, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We will never ask for your name," Sgt. Miller said. "Just provide the information. That'll be passed along to the detectives"
Police believe this suspect hit a couple other businesses in town before venturing west, so to get him may solve a number of crimes. Up to $1,000 reward is available.
Call Crime Stoppers: (423) 698-3333