Exclusive: Suspect caught after string of car break-ins

[lin_video src=http://eplayer.clipsyndicate.com/embed/player.js?aspect_ratio=16×9&auto_next=1&auto_start=0&div_id=videoplayer-1368040554&height=480&page_count=5&pf_id=9624&show_title=1&va_id=4049069&width=640&windows=2 service=syndicaster width=640 height=480 div_id=videoplayer-1368040554 type=script]BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Just before sunrise on Wednesday morning, police in Birmingham received a call from a witness who saw a man breaking into vehicles.

Officer responded to the call and quickly found the suspect.

“All the property was inside the vehicle,” Sgt. John Tanks said. “It had names, addresses. Some of them even had identification of the people who owned vehicles that were broken into.”

Investigators say at least six vehicles fell victim to the classic “smash and grab” car theft operation.

The theft left the victims with missing property and a mess to clean up.

“It’s just a pain,” Jim Gillis said. “It’s a pain to know my car has been violated. I hate to think of it that way, but I’ll probably be finding glass in there for months and months to come.”

According to police, the vehicle the suspect was using during the break-ins was stolen two weeks prior to Wednesday’s string of car theft.

The owner was glad to get it back but is understandably frustrated by its condition.

“It’s aggravating that they took my truck,” Reid Carpenter, the car’s owner, said. “It looks like a tornado came through [the truck]. It’s pretty destroyed. At the same time, I’m very thankful.”

Investigators say there is a lesson to be learned from the theft, though.

They say it is important to never leave valuables in plain view in your vehicle.

Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42

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