Midlothian police say cameras helped nab Tint Shop thieves

Two suspects were arrested in connection with a brazen burglary at an auto accessories store in the south suburbs last month.
January 9, 2014 2:51:04 PM PST
Two suspects were arrested in connection with a brazen burglary at an auto accessories store in the south suburbs last month. Midlothian police credit surveillance video of the crime that helped them identify the suspects.

They must not have known they were on camera-- or they didn't care. Two burglars hit a Midlothian auto accessories shop three times in one night, a week before Christmas. They packed a mini-van with everything they could carry, $20,000 worth of stuff.

Not long after the video made the TV news, The Tint Shop started getting phone calls.

"They were like, 'Is this the person I talk to about the individuals we saw on the news?' 'Well, I could take you to their houses.' 'Like, I know them personally.' 'How much does it pay?' (Oh, they wanted a reward?) It was the reward. 'I know exactly what you need to know, so how much you willing to pay to know?'" said George Leiva, of The Tint Shop.

There was no need to reward barter because detectives got some tips too-- real specific tips.

"They were actually given names which led them to pictures with photo ID's through the video that was captured at the crime scene," said Chief Harold Kaufman, Midlothian police.

Once they had the names, police did a records check and found one of the two suspected burglars already in the Cook County jail.

Donta Turner, 22, was arrested just hours after the Tint Shop theft, after police say he broke into a home in Oak Forest. Midlothian police later arrested 54-year-old Michael Kelley as the second Tint Shop burglar.

"He advised our detectives he was aware he was on video tape. He said that's me, yes," said Chief Kaufman.

Police say both men have criminal records. None of the goods taken from The Tint Shop has been recovered yet. Employees hope they get some personal items back. In the meantime though, they're happy arrests have been made, very happy with their surveillance cameras, and happy that the thieves didn't know or didn't care they were there.


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