San Diego

Lakeside Man Left High and Dry by HVAC Tool Robbery Caught on Camera

The search is on for a thief who targeted an East County man and stole the tools he needs to make a living.

Surveillance video shows what appears to be an early 90s white Ford Bronco pull up next to Brian McFetridge's work truck outside his Lakeside home the morning of June 28.

Dressed in a white shirt and shorts, the thief hops out and breaks the back passenger side window and helps himself to almost $2,000 worth of Brian’s tools – HVAC tools he needs to earn a living during one of the hottest stretches of the year.

“No tools, no life, no money, you can’t survive,” said McFetridge. “I’m starting from ground zero.”

Surveillance video shows the burglar come back a second time to grab what he couldn't steal the first time around.

McFetridge is not alone. Other people in his Lakeside neighborhood off Riverford Road have recently reported car thefts.

A crime map of the area over the past five months shows that within a quarter mile of his home, there have been nine reported cases of burglary, motor vehicle theft and vehicle break-ins.

“You just feel like you don’t want to live here now because you’ve been violated. And no one wants to live somewhere where you don’t feel safe,” he said.

McFetridge is hoping a good look at the burglar from the heist caught on camera will help bring the suspect to justice.

He also hopes more neighbors will consider security measures like cameras to catch crooks targeting their community.

“We really need to just band together to stop these vigilantes from coming in here and taking things that belong to us," he said.

McFetridge said he’s been in contact with his insurance company and has been able to replace enough of his tools so that he can work.

San Diego County Sheriff’s Department deputies are still trying to track down the suspect in his case. Anyone with information can call deputies at (858) 565-5200.

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