SPRING VALLEY, Calif. (CBS 8) - When most people get their car broken into they're left with only broken glass, but not the Cobb Family. The family of five set a surveillance video trap and caught their car burglar on tape.
The Cobbs say one time when their car was broken into, the thief smashed their window out with the concrete slab that covers their water meter. So they set a video trap just in case the thief struck again.
"I think it's surprising for it to be a woman breaking into a car," Britni said.
If your vehicles were broken into six times in two years, you'd fight back too. Britni Cobb now has video tape of a woman breaking into her rental car that was parked right in front of her home.
"Everybody is kind of shocked, you know, this is a family-oriented neighborhood, it's real quiet," Britni said.
Six months ago when Britni was the victim of another smash and grab, she put her husband to work. James Cobb is an electronics expert, so he wired his house with four surveillance cameras, and even put a sign in the front yard warning thieves to stay away.
"You never know who has cameras nowadays," James said.
They're amazing cameras that make a pitch black night look like day. The cameras caught the thief and her accomplice drive into the Cobbs' neighborhood.
First the woman cases the Cobbs' car, then she re-parks her getaway car in the right direction for a speedy getaway. She hops out of her car again, smashes a window and dives in head-first, stealing a laptop and then a bag filled with belongings.
"I know what she drives, I know the description of her car, what she looks like, hair color, everything," James said.
All of this happened at 4:45 in the morning with the Cobbs and their three young children sleeping just a few feet away.
"I mean, how many times will she do this before she gets daring enough to break into my home?" Britni said.
For months, the Cobbs were careful to not leave valuables in their cars, but on Wednesday night, they forgot.
"So it makes you wonder how often they are looking in the car to see if there is anything to grab,"
The Cobbs need your help to identify this blonde-headed woman driving a Ford Taurus with no hubcaps, because they have a message for her.
"Give me my stuff back," Britni said.
"You're going to get caught," James said.
The Cobbs think this is the same woman who broke into their car six months ago. After that break-in, a neighbor got a license plate off the getaway car. But the car was stolen and the case went nowhere. This time they're hoping for an arrest.
Detectives with the sheriff's department now have that surveillance video tape. Although they say the quality is excellent, they can still use a tip. If you have information, call Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.