Suspect linked to several car break-ins in Cooper Young, U of M

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Memphis police are looking for a man caught on camera breaking into cars while they're parked in lots and while drivers are pumping gas.

Police said the suspect went through different areas in Cooper Young and East Memphis all within a matter of an hour last Monday evening.

Officers said the man first targeted a woman at a Mapco in Cooper Young just after 4 p.m.

Police said she was at the gas station filling up her tank when the suspect opened up her passenger door and took her purse.

Moments later, surveillance identified the same car pulling into the parking lot of St. Luke’s Methodist Church, checking several cars to see if they're unlocked.

“That is disappointing," said student Alexis Young. "Just knowing people out there are even thinking like that to rob, I know personally, I work hard for what I have and if someone steals that, that’s just not cool.”

Surveillance video showed at one point, another driver pulled up as the suspect was checking the car door next to him, taking him off course.

Officers said he then headed to the University of Memphis where he tried opening car doors in the Lipman School parking lot.

A witness reported seeing him take a purse out of a van and then drive away.

“It’s kind of scary considering this is a university campus and if you’re here, you want to be protected at all times," said student Amber Strong.

Police hope someone will recognize his face and car from the surveillance video. They're also reminding drivers to remain vigilant.

“I always make sure I lock my doors," said student Jason Harlow. "I try to keep anything valuable out of sight as well, so no one would try to break into my car or anything. I try to be as safe as possible.”

If you have any information that could help lead to an arrest, you’re asked to call Crime Stoppers at 528-CASH.