Caught on tape: suspect breaks into vehicles in Franklin Twp

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Surveillance cameras rolled as a man rummaged through vehicles in a Franklin Township neighborhood.

It happened early Thursday morning near Edgewood and Franklin Road.

Video shows the suspect. He’s not in a car or being dropped off, instead, he’s walking. It’s around 2:30am, while most are sleeping. He approaches a truck, pulls on its unlocked door. You see the dome light go on and with a flashlight the suspect spends about 25 seconds digging through another man’s belongings. That man is Steve Mattingly.

“When you see it, your heart starts to pump and someone’s walking up your driveway. You’re like, come a little closer so we can see your face,” said Mattingly.

The suspect did go a little closer, to Mattingly’s other truck. You can see he’s wearing a backpack. His face is covered. Using a flashlight he spends a good amount of time peeking in the window. He yanks on the door handle. But this time, it’s locked.

“Some other neighbors had windows broken last night. It makes me afraid to lock doors… my older vehicle, I don’t lock the doors because they’re going to break the windows out,” he said.

On Thursday, altogether police responded to five reports in Franklin Township. A suspect vandalized two cars; leaving one with a shattered window. In addition, somebody broke into three other vehicles. But that only includes the incidents that victims reported to police.

Mattingly’s camera also captured the suspect at each of his neighbors’ homes. But they, like many, didn’t report to police.

“They looked in my truck but they didn’t see anything in it they liked. So, they went on,” said Wendell Petree.

Mattingly hopes by sharing the video, others in his community can avoid becoming the next victim, and he’s like justice.

“I’d like to now who’s doing it and they get caught. Because, they feel entitled to things that we work hard for. That’s, not way the truth,” he said.

This was the third time suspects targeted Mattingly in the past year and a half. The first time they got away with equipment from his landscaping business. Since then, he’s learned to bring valuables inside his home. It’s an important lesson, learned the hard way.