Secure parking garages aren't as secure as you might think

SEATTLE -- It takes only a matter of seconds for a thief to get inside this secure garage.

As a driver pulls up, the suspect makes a run for the gate and gets inside.

It happened Saturday night and was caught on surveillance video at the North Park Villa Apartments in Seattle.

"It's frustrating because when you're looking at it on tape, you're just thinking, man, I just wish I was there at that time and I could do something about it,” property manager Erica Job said.

Job may not have been there, but fortunately her cameras were.

For a full hour the man walks around the garage, breaks into cars and steals anything of value, including the faceplate to Quinton Lowe's car stereo that  is impossible to replace.

"You can't buy a faceplate alone so you got to pay at least, a new deck, like, three hundred bucks, two hundred bucks, something like that. Depends on how nice you want to go. Mine was a nice one,” Lowe said.

He also stole $800 out of out of a car belonging to Carmen Herrera's uncle.

"He needed that money for his food and every other thing he needed to do,” Herrera said.

To add insult to injury, the man also stole her uncle's cowboy hat.

Even cars have been stolen from secure garages.

A woman, who didn't want to be identified, said her car was taken three times from a secure garage.

“It hurts a lot especially when you want to get up and go to work and you find your car is missing,” the woman said.

These victims have all learned what police already know -- there’s no such thing as a totally secure garage, unless it is manned around the clock.

Neighbors, however, can protect themselves, each other and all their belongings, if they slow down and take common-sense precautions.

"I have asked the residents to wait for the gates to close behind you. Don't leave laptops, cell phones, jewelry, purses any of that stuff in your car because if it looks valuable they're going to take it,” Job said.

Police are hoping someone will recognize the man’s face and call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.

In the meantime at the North Park Villa Apartments, management isn’t taking any more chances.

They’ve hired a security guard to man the garage full time.