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Exclusive: Surveillance Tape Released Of Serial Laptop Thief

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SOUTH MIAMI (CBSMiami) – South Miami Police are releasing new surveillance tape of a man who they say is a brazen serial thief who has stolen laptops from three victims in their city and may have robbed people in nearby cities as well.

One of those victims is speaking out exclusively to CBS4, saying he feels "violated."

"We believe he's done this two or three times in our city and hit neighboring cities as well," says South Miami Police Capt. Larry Corbin who says it's possible identities were stolen as well. "We believe he has done this several times and he goes into offices that he believes are empty."

Corbin tells CBS4's Peter D'Oench, "His brazen attitude is a concern in the way he moves around offices."

The surveillance tape shows a man dressed in a white polo shirt and white pants walking through a hallway around 3 p.m. on Thursday, June 15th on the eighth floor of an office building at 5975 S.W. 72nd St., which is next to U.S. One on Sunset Drive.

He is seen casually walking through the hallway and then he darts into one office and then another and after a few minutes he emerges with a Lenovo ThinkPad X-1, worth $1400. He flees on foot.

Police have released a BOLO or a be-on-the-lookout bulletin of him, saying he is a black male, 50 to 60 years old and is between 6' and 6'1" tall and weighs between 200 and 230 pounds.

He has an unshaven head and gray hair and has glasses on his head and is wearing black shoes and is carrying a black note pad.

Attorney Zach McWilliams, whose laptop was stolen, says "It's awful. Anytime you have any property stolen whether it's in your house, car or office, you feel a certain violation. Just the audacity with this is striking, for someone to come into your office like this and sneak around."

Corbin says this criminal is prepared to tell employees in offices why he is there.

"He moves around the office building and when he is confronted he shows his business card like he's lost," says Corbin.

McWilliams says, "I think it's a ruse that he uses to be able to walk into office settings and pretend that he is in search of information when actually he is in search of property."

Corbin says the thief could be stealing identities if he finds valuable information on the laptops.

"What's he want a laptop for?" asked Corbin. "A used laptop is not worth a lot of money. It's what's inside the laptop that could be worth the money. There are multiple types of identity theft out there and now that he's taken laptops there could be multiple stolen identities out there."

Corbin worries someone could get hurt.

"There's always the concern that he could be confronted by someone in the office and this could become a violent situation so we'd like to find him," says Corbin.

McWilliams says security in his office is now tighter and he hopes someone will recognize the thief.

"I know hearing through the grapevine in the office that other businesses have been hit and there are other situations and this is going to go on until police catch him," says McWilliams.

He and his colleagues have been passing around a BOLO. He says the same man actually returned to the same office building a week after stealing the laptop and was seen by witnesses on the 6th floor. Fortunately, he did not steal anything, says McWilliams.

Anyone with information about this case is urged to call South Miami Police at (305) 663-6304 or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).


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