A suspected car burglar is behind bars after Gulfport detectives say he tried to break into an unmarked cop car.
Police said Kelvin Neals had no clue an officer was inside the vehicle, working a detail in Town Shores on 58th Street S.
Tom Bixler makes sure he always secures his vehicle before he goes inside his house.
“I typically don’t leave anything of value in my car. I lock the doors and it has an alarm,” said Bixler.
Complaints about recent car break-ins has him alert.
Detectives worked a detail Thursday night hoping to catch some of those criminals.
“I think it’s awesome that they’re here and they’re on top of it with the Christmas season. People buying gifts for kids and they break in and steal stuff,” he said.
Thursday evening, Neals didn’t get far.
Investigators said he went to the undercover car first.
Neals didn’t know Sgt. Thomas Woodman was sitting inside the car, watching him the whole time.
“I observed this male drop a bike into the bushes, one car directly in front of mine, look around suspiciously. At that point, I kind of knew what was going on,” said Sgt. Woodman.
Neals even looked inside.
“Luckily I had dark tinted windows. He was unable to see inside my vehicle.” He said.
The doors were locked.
Neals moved onto another vehicle and was busted.
Last month, Stephen Titland was busted for trying to break into a Pasco County deputy’s car while the deputy was also inside.
Bixler said this should serve as a warning to other thieves.
“That just goes to show how stupid they are or desperate they are. It’s just a shame that people stoop to such levels,” he said.
Neals remains behind bars for burglary.