Photography studio captures suspected burglars on camera

Posted at 4:54 PM, Oct 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-12 16:54:34-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Suspected burglars broke into WorkShoots Photography Studio and guess what, the men unknowingly got their picture taken. The bumbling burglars were caught on surveillance video.

Vince Wickline, the CEO of WorkShoots said, "They actually came through this door, and we got it bolted shut right now because they broke the frame all out."

They set off the alarm system when they busted through the door. Wickline said he was at home enjoying a meal when an alert from his security company buzzed his phone, Thursday night. Mobile access to the video stream confirmed his fears.

He exclaimed, "You're looking at it, and you're like 'holy cow!' It's not false. It's real!"

Wickline said the break-in is a first, as the two men snooped around for about 5 minutes.

He said it's also frustrating because the burglars damaged the control panel and the security box in an obvious effort to kill the alarm. While making their escape, it appears someone ran into the window. It has webbed cracks now.

Wickline said, "We're a small non-profit. Ya know, we don't have a large margin. It just kills when stuff like this happens."

He explained, "We rent space out to photographers so they don't have to have a whole studio, and then we put on classes for adults and children."

Fortunately, Wickline said the burglars didn't get away with anything. But they left behind a couple of clues for police who he said arrived within minutes. Investigators collected fingerprints and the surveillance footage which Wickline hope leads to an arrest.

"One bad apple can't ruin everything. So you have to recalibrate your brain and say, 'You know what? It's only one or two people out of the whole community,'" he reasoned.

Wickline said, "We've got a door and an alarm that's damaged, but it did it's job. So I feel lucky."

He said he's thankful no one got hurt and when something like this happens he thinks it's important to spread the word and involve law enforcement. If you recognize those men, you can call Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.