Catch and release: Why LMPD couldn't arrest man caught on video allegedly breaking into car
It hasn't been the best week for Rock Wright. The UK fan who inked a perfect season tattoo a bit too soon has to wear the public embarrassment of covering it up. He turned his tattoo that once said 40-0 into an homage recognizing UK's 2012 season by changing the numbers to 38-2 for the school's last NCAA championship.
"You can see how the five has turned into a two," Wright said, pointing out the fix on his tattoo.
And as if that wasn't bad enough, he said his car was broken into.
Wright said "I watched a guy coming past my car, creeping."
It happened around 7 a.m. on Tuesday -- and it's all on surveillance video captured from Wright's front door.
"He got my door open...when I came busting out after him," Wright said. "I literally watched him myself and chased him from the time he left my door till the time cops got him with his break-in tool. I followed him the whole time."
But again, Wright fell short of the win.
"They (police) straight-up told me if they didn't see it, it never happened," he said.
Kentucky law limits when an arrest can be made on a misdemeanor charge. The person in the video didn't steal anything from Wright, so even though he's on camera, officers had to let him go.
"My auto theft detective is currently following up on that case now," said Sgt. Jim Cirillo, of the Louisville Metro Police Department. "We are attempting to take out a criminal compliant on the suspect."
What's worse, Wright wasn't the only one to experience a car break-in.
"I saw a big hole in the driver's side door," said Douglas Griffin, another victim. "Since the alarm is so loud that's probably what scared him off."
"We just purchased the car," said Stephani Rains, a break-in victim. "We hadn't even had it a week."
"Stuck something in to unlock the door," said Sally Miller, another victim "Ripped into the glove compartment, went through all the papers."
"They stole a navigator out of our vehicle," Miller said.
Sgt. Cirillo says the same guy may be behind at least seven car break-ins in the Portland neighborhood this week.
"They let him go and gave him his tools back and that's what's really disturbing to me," Rains said.
"We care very much," said Sgt. Cirillo. "We can't just do things our own way because we don't think it's right. We have to follow the law the way it's written out."
Portland neighbors fear the suspect will continue to break into cars while police compile their case. In the meantime, Wright has posted his video to Facebook....going for neighborhood MVP.
UPDATE: Late Wednesday afternoon Louisville Metro Police took out a warrant against Damon Shelby-Harris in connection to the break-ins in the Portland Neighborhood. Sgt. Cirillo said Shelby-Harris is the person in the video and suspected in the other neighborhood break-ins.
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