PUNTA GORDA, Fla.- Charlotte County deputies arrested a man, hours after every moment of his alleged crime is caught on the very camera he was trying to destroy.
WINK News discovered there has been a history of tension between the owner of the camera and the man caught on tape.
Deputies say Kevin Brooks, 29, put on quite a show before his arrest. According to investigators, Brooks is the man in the surveillance video captured by the rear entrance of PC Empire in Punta Gorda.
The video shows a man walking toward the camera, attempting to hide under his shirt. However, the man looks right into the lens as he smacks the camera with a wooden board. About two minutes later, the video shows someone, allegedly Brooks, hurling a piece of concrete at the camera.
Store manager John Jones tells WINK News it took more time to commit the crime than it did to figure out who was behind it.
"As soon as we'd seen about three seconds of the footage -- we both know this guy," Jones said.
PC Empire also has a location in Arcadia.
Jones says Brooks used to own the pawn shop next door, and was eventually evicted.
"there was just friction there after he got evicted," Jones said. "I guess he was blaming us for the eviction."
Matthew Bullion, who owns PC Empire, told WINK News he had video of Brooks smoking marijuana on the premises, and turned that footage over to the landlord when asked.
PC Empire sells surveillance cameras, so the broken camera was replaced within minutes.
"I don't know what these people expect," Jones said.
Jones and Bullion showed deputies the footage alongside Brooks' Facebook page, which led to Brooks' arrest.
According to the arrest report, Brooks caused about $800 worth of damage, but Jones now has a priceless sales pitch.
"My advice to people is I would get some security cameras, too," Jones said, "They caught the guy within about two hours."
This is the second PC Empire camera to be hit in the past two weeks. Deputies in DeSoto County also used surveillance footage to catch a different suspect after a camera at the Arcadia location was smashed.