Security video captured the moment a brazen thief ransacked a gas station in Highland before helping himself to a slushy.
The break-in was captured at a Chevron gas station near Base Line and Buckeye Streets shortly before 5 a.m. on Thursday.
Even though the station is manned by a worker for 24 hours, it turns out that night, the employee was asleep on the job.
The thief is seen sneaking into the security office, loading a large safe onto a rolling cart and wheeling it out the front door.
Rummaging around for about 30 minutes, along with the safe, the thief also grabbed cigarettes and scratchers.
“Watching the whole video, I’m like, ‘Are you freaking kidding me?’” said Isabel Aldaz, the gas station manager. “[He] went inside, saw that there was nobody inside, no cashier, nothing, and decided, ‘You know what” I’m going to start with something small — a tablet, cigarettes, and that’s when he left and came back,” said Aldaz.
Aldaz said the suspect left and returned to the store four more times, all while the gas station attendant was onsite.
“Unfortunately, the guy was asleep on the job,” said Aldaz.
Aldaz said the safe contained around $6,000 inside.
“That’s where we kind of lose him in the camera and he’s just pushing the cart,” said Aldaz of the security video. “The cart, I don’t know where it ended up, where he left his bicycle, how far did he go.”
While arriving at work later that morning, that’s when Aldaz noticed the safe was missing.
“Going into the office to get change for the clerk, I noticed that the safe wasn’t where it was originally,” recalled Aldaz. “I was shocked. How could we lose something so huge? At that moment, that’s when I just looked everywhere and it was just completely gone.”
It’s only when she inspects the security video that she catches the culprit at work.
“He had plenty of time,” said Aldaz “I mean at the end, he got himself a slurpy.”
Aldaz reported the break-in to Highland Police and feels thankful that security video captured clear images of the suspect’s face.
Aldaz was also thankful no other customers were in the store at the time and that no one was injured. The store employee who was caught sleeping on the job was fired.
Anyone who recognizes the suspect is asked to call Highland Police.