When Chris Meade, owner of Mr. Value Electricians and a north Forsyth resident, woke up on Aug. 22 and found that his truck along with countless other vehicles in his Montclair subdivision had been broken into overnight, he knew instantly that he had evidence that could help law enforcement.
That morning, Meade turned on his computer and watched as a young white, male suspect opened his truck door at about 2:50 a.m. and spent minutes rummaging through the vehicle on crystal-clear video captured by a camera system he had been testing out for a little more than a week.
Meade said that the week before he had installed an Owl Car Cam on the dashboard of his truck to test out the camera security system for possibly using them in his company’s work vans.
“Those cameras are pretty cool,” Meade said. “My truck is normally locked, but that time it just wasn’t.”
Caught in the actNorth Forsyth resident Chris Meade woke up on Wednesday, Aug. 22 and found that his truck had been broken into overnight, he knew instantly that he had evidence that could help law enforcement. Meade turned on his computer and watched as a young white, male suspect opened his truck door at about 2:50 a.m. and spent minutes rummaging through the vehicle on crystal-clear video captured by an Owl Car Cam system he had installed the week before.
In another video captured by cameras outside Meade’s home, a suspect can be seen attempting to open the door of Meade’s wife’s black SUV before fleeing the scene.
“You never at all think it would happen up here, but there’s a reason that I have security cameras around my house,” Meade said.
In addition to sharing the videos with Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office detectives, Meade took the videos online, posting them on a number of different local Facebook groups to see if anyone could identify the suspect for authorities.
Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office incident reports show that vehicles at 11 addresses in Meade’s neighborhood were targeted in the incident.
Meade said that the thief took nothing from his vehicle, overlooking an iPad, a thermal imaging camera, gun clip and boxes of ammo. Others weren’t so lucky, he said; neighbors had guns, electronics, money and Atlanta Braves tickets worth $500 stolen.
“He did break the clip that locks my center console, and I am pretty pissed about that,” Meade said. “It’s a nice truck, and he had to go break something in it.”
In the week since Meade posted the videos on Facebook, they have garnered thousands of views and over a hundred outraged and energetic comments by people trying to sleuth out the criminal’s identity.
“Everybody is wanting this guy caught,” Meade said.
Beyond catching the person responsible, Meade said he also wanted to put the video online to show potential future thieves that even when they break into cars in the dead of night, they aren’t safe and will get eventually get caught.
“I really want to deter these people from breaking in,” Meade said. “Even though he broke my clip, I’ll be fine because I can recoup that, but some people who had work laptops and other stuff stolen, they may not be able to.”
And after all that, Meade said one thing is for sure —his Mr. Value work vans are getting their own cameras as soon as possible.
“Oh yeah, I’m definitely getting more,” he said.