WTVM Exclusive: Phenix City family catches alleged thief on tape, criticizes police

More details: Phenix City family catches alleged thief on tape, criticizes police

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A Phenix City family no longer feels safe in their own home after catching a man on camera, rummaging through their home looking for anything to steal.

Out of frustration, the family spoke exclusively with News Leader 9 after the robbery, asking for help.

"My mother got broken into Saturday night, March 15, around 7 p.m.," said the homeowner's son Tim Johnson.

Johnson proclaimed that night changed his family's life.

"My mother is afraid to stay in her own home, we feel violated," he said.

"I noticed the back door was kicked opened. I started to panic a little bit because my mother 89 years old," Johnson recalled.

Johnson immediately called police.

"We waited for the police to get here. Once the police got here we showed them that we had it on video camera," Johnson said.

The thief is caught on several of the seven surveillance cameras throughout the property. In the video you can see a man kicking in the office door and rummaging through the home. Johnson claimed the thief got away with a few pieces of jeweler but believes he was looking for much more.

"You can see on the film he went into the office and he went through every single drawer in the office cause they know I keep rental money in there... at least they thought I did anyway," Johnson said. "I think he was looking for a money box because he was going in and out of the drawers too fast to look through each individual file for money."

Although several hundred dollars in damages were left behind and items taken, Johnson says he's even more upset with how Phenix City Police have handled the case.

"So when we come in and showed them on the camera they wanted us to get it off the camera. They told us they would be back in touch with us that night or the next morning," Johnson said.

Johnson claimed detectives with the Phenix City Police Department told him they would be back to get fingerprints. Four days later, Johnson said they never came back.

"We have called and left messages. We have emailed. No one will return our calls from the Phenix City Police department," Johnson claimed.

With a detached door frame and pieces still scattered on the ground, the family says they feel betrayed by someone they tried to help.

"When you work somebody and you trying to help them better themselves and give them money and they turn around and steal from you! He worked on my daddy's grave," Johnson said. "We fed him, gave him something to drink, asked him did he need anything, we paid him cash money on the spot!"

We spoke with Captain Frank Ivey with PCPD Wednesday afternoon, March 19.

"I believe there was a lapse of communication between the nightshift and day shift on this case," Capt. Ivey said.

He also said detectives had issues retrieving the video from the home surveillance system.

As of Wednesday afternoon no arrest had been made.

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