UPDATE (March 12, 2019)-- Westfield police say several tips reported by the public led to them being able to identify the suspects. Charges were sent to the prosecutor for review.
WESTFIELD, Ind. -- An antique store in Westfield was caught off guard after a pair of thieves stole money from the cash register. It was all caught on video. Owner, Joe Shaulis says he feels violated. He’s heard of antique stores dealing with theft, but what he caught on his surveillance system, he says, is alarming.
Smile pretty for the cameras. The message is printed clear on signs the moment you walk into Tad’s Westfield Shoppes.
“We have 13 cameras, and every inch of the store covered by video,” said Shaulis.
Well, this duo forgot to smile. Instead, owner Joe Shaulis says he caught them stealing his money. He's not sure if they missed the cameras or just didn't care.
“Could he have had a gun?” Questioned Shaulis, “A knife? It could have ended a lot differently.”
Shaulis says, the man in the grey hoodie asked for his help pricing an item in the back of the store. He didn't think twice about helping him out.
“He waved at me and said hey, can you come give me a price on an item at the back of the store?" said Shaulis. “So, I went with him, nice casual talk. You’d never know something suspicious is going on.”
However, when he got back to the counter, he noticed all his money was missing. That's when he went straight to his video system. Turns out, a man in a black leather jacket had found his way behind the counter.
“His friend entered our check-out area, went into the back counter and emptied the cash drawer,” said Shaulis.
Tad’s Westfield Shoppes has only been open for five weeks. Shaulis says he’s aware small thefts at antique stores are common, but he was not prepared for this.
“We have 50 people who have rented space from us. Generally they’re retired people. This is a second income for them,” said Shaulis. “So even small items, a glass statue can add up.”
Shaulis says now he can only hope that by sharing his story, the suspects are found. Westfield police told him they do plan to prosecute when they find the duo responsible.
“I’ve got five kids, I’m paying for them, I’m working a legitimate job to do that. They could do the same,” said Shaulis.
Shaulis says, thankfully, the thieves only got away with $150, and it could have been much worse. If you know anything about this crime or who these two suspects are please contact the Westfield Police Department at (317) 804-3200 or contact Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.