Dapper thief caught on camera swiping phone from Center City office

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Police are trying to track down a thief after a man was caught on camera walking into a Center City office, and stealing a phone right off a desk. (WPVI)

Philadelphia police are trying to track down a thief after a man was caught on camera walking into a Center City office and stealing a phone right off a desk.

Officials say this problem is all too common, and they're trying to put a stop to it.

Surveillance video shows the well-dressed thief as he entered the 4th floor office at 1500 JFK Boulevard.

It was 3:30 Friday afternoon. He walked around, scoping the place out. The suspect in a suit went over to the desk, fished around, found an iPhone, and walked right out with it.

That desk and phone belong to Amanda, a payroll coordinator who asked that we not use her last name.

She says, "Initially, I was just angry that someone could just walk into the building and take something belonged to someone else."

But investigators who oversee Center City, home to the high rises that house all kinds of businesses, say these workplace thefts are happening much more often than you might think.

Philadelphia Police Captain Frank Banford says, "It's common. I would say we have about 60 so far this year just from office buildings. We'll definitely go over 200 unless people get a little more cautious."

Amanda's office installed a surveillance camera only after somebody stole eight laptops not long ago.

Capt. Banford explains, "Security usually comes in place after you're hit. If you could think first, you could downsize your problem."

This office is adding even more security measures.

Amanda's coworker Garrett tells us, "We're changing over locks so this way - key card for the door. The door's always locked and we've installed a door bell as well."

In an odd twist, Garrett posted the surveillance video on Facebook. A friend saw it, came upon the suspect and he gave the phone back. But police still want to know who he is.

Given the way he's dressed and his cool demeanor, they're convinced he's committed this crime before.

Captain Banford says if you are leaving your desk it would be wise to lock your laptop and phone away, and install tracking software on all your devices.

If you recognize the suspect in the suit, contact Central Detectives.
Related Topics:
newscaught on camerasurveillancetheftphilly newsCenter City Philadelphia
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