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Portsmouth auto repair owner nearly catches thief after third break-in

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Posted at 3:50 PM, Feb 16, 2021

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — A Portsmouth auto repair shop was broken into for the third time Monday. Patience is running thin, and the losses are racking up.

Security video at Alpine Motorsports shows someone rolling out tires from the shop on W. Norfolk Road.

“About 7:30 p.m., I got a chime on my phone from the Ring [security camera],” explained owner Johnny Johnson.

Another break-in was happening at his business, this time unfolding right before his eyes.

“Look over the Ring and I seen a man walking inside the yard, so I’m looking a little bit more and I see him rolling car wheels, so I said, ‘Okay time to go.’”

Johnson says he rushed over to his shop while his wife called 911.

“I just missed him. In like maybe two minutes, I would’ve caught him.”

Johnson says the thief made off with tools and around a dozen tires and rims. He estimates the loss to be around $7,000.

Johnson says the thief was also likely after catalytic converters but just didn’t have enough time to steal them. The person left behind a car jack next to a truck, and they found saw blades and a mat underneath the vehicle.

Each time, the thief is breaking into the same part of the fence, leading Johnson to believe he’s being targeted by the same criminal.

“I’ll catch them eventually. If the police don’t, we will. Somebody will.”