COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Columbus police need your help identifying a suspect who broke into a teenager's truck and stole her purse in broad daylight at about 7:30 a.m. on Monday, March 2.
The whole thing was caught on surveillance video.
Michelle Myers says she has is a regular customer at the BP on Gentian Boulevard and never thought anything like this would ever happen to her.
She said she usually hides her purse, but this time she forgot.
"He got into his car and pulled out something like a crowbar or something and just smashed it," Michelle said.
In less than two minutes the suspect pulled up, walking around her truck checking each door to see if they were locked.
He then let his tailgate down and went inside his truck to grab some type of tool. He hit her window and it looks like he dropped the tool. He picked it back up and successfully smashed the passenger window, stealing the purse inside.
Michelle said she called her mom who immediately called police.
"It just really scared me; it just made me think what could've happened if she came out in the middle of it or at the end of it or what else he could have done. He broke the window in broad daylight with people around, like he was invincible," Danielle said.
Danielle Myers said some of these things the suspect did in the video made her think this wasn't his first time.
"He already had something ready to break the window, he put his tailgate down before breaking the window making it hard or even impossible to see his license plate, and he just did things to make me think this wasn't his first time," Danielle said.
"A lot of times they bring tools with them to use the tailgate could be a two-fold thing, one acting like he's working on his truck [and] two trying to conceal his tag," Hawk said.
Captain Hawk with the Columbus Police Department wants all residents to be aware of their surroundings.
"We always instruct people not to leave valuables in plain view in their vehicle, radar detectors, purses, iPhones, things like that just don't leave them in view," Hawk said.
Captain Hawk also tells us parking at the front of a building makes you less likely to be a victim.
Michelle did get her purse back. She said a man found it on the side of the road with her ID inside and returned it to her school.
If you know the man in the video or the Chevy truck with chrome detailing you're asked to call police at 706-653-3400.