Police Release Photo of Suspect in NWA Cars Break-ins
A string of car break-ins has multiple Northwest Arkansas law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Secret Service investigating. Bentonville police now have a suspect thanks to surveillance video.
Photos taken from ATM security video shows a light-skinned man with a shaved head. The suspect is believed to be driving a white Toyota Camry.
The victims are parents who drop their kids off at daycare and have their valuables stolen in a matter of minutes.
Police say the thieves are taking purses and other valuables from cars that are left unattended outside daycares.
The crimes started showing up earlier this year, and Bentonville police said thieves struck again today. Two Bentonville daycares and one in Rogers were sites of the latest break-ins.
“Her passenger’s side windows knocked out, her purse gone, that-quick,” Bentonville Detective Mark Jordan said.
Surveillance video captured the image of a car that police believe is the suspect vehicle. The white 2012 Toyota Camry was seen driving away from Wild About Learning Academy.
Jordan is one of dozen of police officers in the region investigating the cases.
“The Secret Service is working this, too, and they believe [the suspects] come from Florida, a gang in Florida, Jordan said, adding that police have seen checks stolen from vehicles in Colorado, Oklahoma and Kansas.
Wild About Learning Academy employees said they immediately took action.
“We have also sent out emails to our parents,” academic coordinator John Nguyen said. Parents have volunteers to be “watch dogs,” on the premises, he said.
These parents will be outside during drop off and pick up, Nguyen said. The academy provided the surveillance image of the suspects’ vehicle to police.
“We were able to see a little bit of information, and hopefully get the evidence needed to keep this from happening in the future,” Nguyen said.
Police said it’s worth it to keep valuables close by.
“I know it’s a pain, but you got one kid on one arm, you might need to put your purse in the other arm if you’re going to be there for five minutes,” Jordan said.
Anyone with information about the crimes can call the Northwest Arkansas Crime Stoppers tip line at (479) 790-TIPS.