THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) – A Thomasville man is in jail after he fell into a trap set by fed-up crime victims.
Crooks broke into more than a dozen vehicles in a Thomasville neighborhood near East Live Oak Circle in recent months. One of those victims set up a sensor and a camera in his truck and caught the thief red-handed.
Grant Carney's truck had been broken into three times. The thief got away with a cell phone, some money, and a hat. But on Wednesday morning instead of walking away with a handful of loot, he walked away in handcuffs. All because of a very clever trap.
Grant Carney is laughing because he still can't believe his brilliant plan worked. "We really didn't think it would all come together."
Carney and his neighborhood watch group have been dealing with car break-ins since July. "We had to come up with a way we could monitor the car 24 hours a day," said Carney.
They came up with a plan. On Wednesday morning when suspect Andre Harper showed up, their plan went into action.
"We had the sensors here, when he opened the door it broke the seal and alerted us inside," said Carney. The Carneys say Harper was after a purse he saw through the window, only it too was a part of their trap.
"We left a pocket book stuffed with some paper in the passenger seat and an empty wallet with a single dollar bill hanging out," he said.
Then it was time for their thief to smile for the motion-detecting camera. "So I'm looking out the window getting a description of him while my wife is on the phone with 911 and the whole time I see the flash going off in the truck," laughed Carney.
Knowing Harper would try to take the camera they had chained it down, prolonging his stay long enough for deputies to arrive put him in handcuffs.
"Right now we're charging him with seven counts of entering autos. We have more we'll probably tie him to soon," he said.
The Carneys set up the trap three times prior to Wednesday morning. But you know what they say. Third time's the charm. The Carneys say the sensor they used was actually a window sensor they bought at Lowe's.
All the vehicles investigators say Harper stole from were unlocked. A reminder to keep your car doors locked.
The camera is a wildlife camera only this time he used it to hunt a thief instead of deer.