Douglasville Police are looking for a suspect who alledgedly stole a $3,600 Ryan aerator from the Douglasville Ace Hardware and then had the nerve to come back about two weeks later, according to authorities and store employees.
The incident occurred at the Church Street store on March 25 when the suspect came to the store and appeared to look around.
"He comes up on the dock and walks around and looks in the window and he acts like he is on his cell phone," said sales manager Stand Flowers. "Once he gets everybody occupied and makes sure they're busy, he pushes a Ryan aerator out the gate."
Security cameras depict the suspect pushing the equipment from the showroom floor, across the parking lot and across the road.
"After he left, we realized the equipment was missing so we followed his path," said Flowers. "He had parked over at the carwash across the street. It was pretty much gone."
To the bewilderment of Flowers and the other staff, the suspect returned Monday morning to potentially get more equipment.
"He was walking around on his cell phone again," said Flowers. "[An associate] next door recognized the guy. He called the owner and said the same guy was here. The owner said, 'Don't alert him. I am going to go to the carwash and see if that car is sitting there.'"
The suspect then noticed that the staff were looking at him and took off, said Flowers.
"He goes out the gate, cuts across in front of the building and he sees [the owner] going to the carwash so he takes off running," said Flowers. "Three or four of us took off and we got over to the carwash."
A white car was apparently waiting for the suspect and took off upon seeing the Ace Hardware employees approach, Flowers said.
"He starts squealing tires and comes out," said Flowers. "He swerves over and tries to hit the owner. He …goes and picks up his partner and takes off."
According to the Douglasville Police Department incident report, however, the owner said that "the vehicle swerved toward the area where he was standing but never got close to hitting him." The report also stated that "the vehicle left the parking lot at a very high rate of speed and cut through the Advance Auto Parts' parking lot, jumping a curb as it did so."
The driver's back hatch was up, which prevented the Ace employees from getting the license plate number.
"This is getting out of control," said Flowers. "We are having to stay on our toes. It is matter of trying to keep an eye out to catch him. It has gotten so out of hand that you stay nervous all day."
A Douglasville police issued a Be On the Lookout (BOLO) Monday that describes the suspect as a black male wearing a plaid shirt, light colored pants and a baseball cap. The BOLO said the suspect was seen driving away in a white SUV, possibly a GMC Envoy.
Anyone who has any information is asked to contact Det. Sgt. Gil Guthrie at 678-293-1719.