A thief shot his way through a plate glass window at a bike shop in El Cajon this week, stealing quite the haul from the small business and the break-in was caught on camera.
The burglary happened Thursday night, just before 9 p.m. at Inky's Bicycle & Pro Scooters on Broadway. The suspect used what the store manager thinks is a pellet gun to shoot out a side window near the front of the store to gain entry.
The intruder didn't exactly get away undetected. He is now the star of six videos captured by the shop's security cameras that show how he committed the crime, frame by frame.
Store manager Matt White was the first person to discover the break-in Friday morning.
"When I walked around, I [saw] all the glass on the floor,” White told NBC 7. “I was freaking out; I didn't know what to do really."
The videos show the thief, dressed in a hoodie and wearing a white face mask, stealing from the business while the dim lights of traffic pass in the distance.
On the video, he takes aim with a weapon, then fires through the plate glass window.
White said it was tough to watch his workplace become a target.
"It’s a bummer. It’s a shock. We come here every day," he lamented. "This is our home away from home."
White said it looked like the suspect "knew what he was looking for," running directly for some Sachem-brand pro scooters.
He grabbed two scooters off the display wall, slinging them over his shoulder before running off. He got in and pulled off the heist in a total of 28 seconds.
In the skater community, White said those scooters are pretty popular rides.
“Kids do tricks with these. That's what they are made for," he explained. "You can take apart a $300 scooter and make it worth $500. The parts are also in high demand: $60 per wheel, $180 for the deck. That's just a clamp and it's $50."
Fortunately, White said the thief bypassed the store's most expensive inventory: a couple of high-end bikes that cost about $4,000 a piece.
The crime was a scooter stunt never before performed at Inky's. An arrest would be a fitting finale.
Employees of the shop and the El Cajon Police Department hope the security videos help lead investigators to the thief.
El Cajon police said some residential burglaries were recently reported in the community, but this is the first store robbery of its kind in the area.
The alarm at the store did alert the shop owner by phone. However, the owner had experienced trouble with the security system in the past, so it appeared like this case was another false alarm.