Northwest Fresno store owner claims child used as decoy to steal $3,500 camera

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno store owner says a family used their child as a decoy to steal from his shop, and it was all caught on camera.

"When the employees weren't looking, they reached in brazenly and took a $3,500 camera," said Horn Photo store owner Stan Grosz.

Horn Photo's been open for decades and sits inside the Villagio Shopping center.

You would think a camera shop filled with surveillance cameras would be the last place criminals would target, but Grosz says that didn't stop this family on Wednesday.

In the video, you can see the suspect act like he's shopping before he tries to swipe the camera, just feet away from an employee.

He backs off and starts talking to the woman and child he came in with before he goes back in, quickly takes the camera.

He then stuffs it into his jacket and leaves the store.

"I'd call it brazen, I'd call it gutsy they weren't afraid to reach in there," said Grosz.

"Especially seeing the kid as a decoy. Seems weird to me that they're setting that example for their children," said Horn Photo employee Alejandro Martinez.

Grosz believes these two in the video are the same suspects who stole from his store a couple of years ago, but at the time, the suspects had an infant with them.

"They were trading the baby back and forth between them, and when our employees weren't looking, they took a go pro and put it in the baby's blanket," said Grosz.

Along with the products, Grosz says his shop is known for it's trusting and friendly atmosphere which keeps customers like Debbie Campagn coming back.

That's why she says it's disheartening to see this happen.

"I just hate to hear that. With our day and age, and our video cameras. They ought to realize they'll get caught," said Campagn.

As posters offering a reward for information hangs on their window, employees say they'll have to keep a sharper eye on their customers.

An empty space remains on the display rack, and Grosz hopes the thieves do the right thing.

"Just bring the camera back and everything will be forgiven," said Grosz.
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