Gun-stealing car prowler: Caught on camera breaking into secure garage, finding firearm in unlocked vehicle

WANTED IN SEATTLE -- A car prowler is bad enough. But police are concerned that a car prowler in Ravenna is now armed. He stole a handgun, after finding it in a car he broke into. Police don’t know how the prowler was able to get into the locked garage of the Ravenna apartment complex. But he’s seen on surveillance video trying the doors of several cars. Eventually he comes to a Toyota Scion that appears to be unlocked. “I’m the type of person who locks my car 99% of the time when I get out,” says Adam Matza, the owner of the Scion. “It just happens to be a huge coincidence that he happened to be lurking around the parking lot the one time out of a hundred that I didn't lock my car.” The break-in happened around 4 am, while neighbors were sleeping. The crook takes his time searching through Matza’s car, eventually finding the bag that contained his 45 caliber handgun. “Everything else he stole from the car didn't concern me that much. There was some electronics, some medical equipment I had from my military time. But the gun was definitely the biggest thing”.

People who live in the neighborhood say hearing about car break-ins is bad enough, but this is scary. “I’m obviously very concerned that's someone who's a criminal now has a gun,” says Ben Trelease. Matza knows some people might question why he would leave his gun in his car, but he says he thought it would be safe inside the locked garage. “I have a concealed weapons permit and I’m a responsible gun owner. But in that instance, it was just the car got broken into and it was there.” He hopes someone will recognize the man in the surveillance video, and police are able to find him before any other crimes are committed. “It’s dangerous for him to be out there with a gun.” Police know the serial number of the gun, so they are keeping an eye out for it at pawn shops and online sites. If you recognize this accused gun-stealing car prowler, call an anonymous tip into: CRIME STOPPERS: 1-800-222-TIPS You must call the Crime Stoppers hotline with your tip to be eligible to receive a cash reward for information leading to a fugitive’s arrest. CLICK HERE for information on how to TEXT A TIP to Crime Stoppers.