ODESSA, Texas (Nexstar) – Gilbert Fierro was sound asleep, until he heard his phone go off. It was a notification from his security camera. It had just been knocked over.
“3:18. That’s actually when the notification woke me up,” Fierro said. “I actually thought it was a bird landing on it, and knocked my camera down.”
But it was no bird. Just outside the walls of his bedroom, a grown man was making his way through Gilbert’s property. Security footage from Gilbert’s other cameras show the man carrying a bolt cutter. This all happened early Thursday on W. Ada Street, between Meyers Avenue and S. Sam Houston Avenue. Gilbert believes the prowler is a young man.
But Gilbert wouldn’t find out he was robbed for several more hours, when he woke up again around six in the morning. More notifications were on his phone. This time, Gilbert would see the prowler on camera. In a haste, he thought the man was still outside.
“All of a sudden, I’m like, ‘There’s somebody in my yard,'” Fierro recalls. “I jump out of bed, grab my gun, and run outside.”
But there was no one there. It was a rude awakening. Little by little, Gilbert started piecing together what happened by combing through his security footage.
At 3:18 AM, the suspect successfully takes down one of Gilbert’s security cameras. Then, the man seems to hide, because 20 minutes later, he reappears. This time, he calmly walks through the backyard to the shed. The doors were shut, but it wasn’t locked.
Just as the thief walked in, the man calmly leaves with a bag full of items, thirty minutes after first showing up.
In the daylight, Gilbert assessed the damage. At first, it was hard to tell what was missing. His shed doors were closed. A number of tool bags and items were still inside.
But then, Gilbert noticed his JBL speaker was gone. Then, he realized a bag holding twenty-five DeWalt batteries were taken. Each battery costs around $130. Several work lights were gone, too.
The damage totals to more than $3,000 – a significant loss. Gilbert believes the thief took off with the batteries because of their high cost, their value in construction, manufacturing and woodworking industries, as well as the ease of stealing them: they were all combined into a bag.
But questions still remain about why the thief arrived with a bolt cutter.
“He had a lot of opportunities to steal something that was much closer to the street,” Fierro muses. “But he walked all the way to the back of my yard with bolt cutters.”
It begs the question, was Gilbert being watched and targeted for his equipment? He believes so, and he believes the suspect wasn’t acting alone.
“There was a vehicle in the alleyway, passing at three o’clock in the morning,” Fierro said. “It makes me believe he was dropped off.”
But the damage is already done. Gilbert got some other footage from neighbors that shows the same prowler checking out their property about one hour later, with Gilbert’s items in hand. The man was last seen wearing a baseball cap, shorts with a white stripe, and white shoes.
Yet, if there is a silver lining in all of this, Gilbert says, it’s the fact the thief is still alive.
“If I were to catch him out there, chances are, he wouldn’t be alive today,” Fierro said. “You just never know… When they get caught, they’ll get killed for a stupid decision they’re making.”
His message to the thief: ‘Don’t come back.’
Anyone with information about this theft is asked to call Odessa Police or Odessa Crimestoppers.
Below is a gallery of the items Gilbert lost: