Auto shop owner stops burglars with surveillance video

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — An auto shop owner says surveillance video helped stop burglars who were stealing from his business.

It seems thieves always find their way inside MTZ Auto on Brooks Road.

Owner Gabriel Martinez says he's been hit as many as three times in a single night.

"In the last, probably two months, it's just getting out of control," Martinez said.

He's also losing tools, car parts, and he's losing money.

"I've got cars here that I had to buy from the customers because they stole the entire front end of the car and the customer comes and his car is tore up," Martinez said.

He's spared no expense fighting the thieves, shelling out $17,000 on a motion-detecting surveillance system a few years ago.

This week, Martinez spotted thieves on his surveillance cameras two nights in a row and called police just in time.

Surveillance video shows police chasing one of the thieves Tuesday. Police say when they caught up with the suspect, Dedrick Phillips, he had a weed trimmer and other tools worth about $3,600.

Wednesday, Brenan Bland reportedly hauled off a heater, a pressure washer and more tools. Police arrested him, too, despite his strong denials.

"He was trying to say that he was actually sleeping outside, that he never came in the building, but it was him," Martinez said.

With two thieves in jail, Martinez hopes that's more than enough warning to keep others away. But just in case, his cameras are rolling, because he can't afford for them not to.


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