A thief showed up early Sunday morning to one North Las Vegas neighborhood and made off with a heavy portable generator in just minutes.
Neighbors on Quiet Peeps Place watch out for one another, and Crime Stoppers signs are in place.
“We thought it’d be a lot safer than the neighborhood we lived in before,” said Michelle Whaley.
But early Sunday morning, the Whaley family was hit by crime. A portable generator for their camper was strapped inside the bed of their pickup was picked up by a criminal who knocked down a neighborhood gate and helped himself. It was a setback for the family's upcoming cross country trip.
“I’m working 48 to 60 hours a week trying to afford a trip, and they come and pretty much take a whole couple days pay,” said Jim Whaley.
After busting through a gate, the criminal was then ready to make his move. He got to the family’s truck, spent about 3.5 minutes stealing the generator, and the whole time, he was caught on camera.
"We looked at our security camera and found that someone walked up, stole it, cut the tie downs and left with it," Michelle said.
The ball cap-wearing thief was quiet, eyed the loot, jumped in the bed of the truck, and managed to take the 175-pound equipment and rolled it away.
"I’m frustrated myself for not taking it in the house last night,” Jim said.
Jim and Michelle Whaley are both nurses and both have been covering shifts for Christa Puente, a fellow nurse, tragically killed along with her husband last week, when an alleged drunk driver ran into them near Sahara and Hualapai.
“It doesn’t compare to our loss, but it’s just one more thing on top of everything,” said Michelle.
After a long day covering for their late friend, they were understandably too tired to bring in the generator, and that's when this thief saw his opportunity to strike in the dead of night.
The family hopes the video will go viral, so North Las Vegas police can catch the suspect. They also hope flea markets and pawn shops will be on the lookout for the Generac Model 5500 generator.
Story by 13 Action News reporter Aaron Drawhorn.