Police looking for burglar that used 'smokescreen' to hide car

'Smokescreen' burglary attempt

KINGSPORT, Tenn. - Police say it was several failed attempts for one suspect who they think tried to break into the Diamond Exchange in Kingsport.

Pubic Information Officer Tom Patton showed us surveillance video where the individual tried to hide his car by using smoke bombs to create a smokescreen, but was unsuccessful. "Rather than seeing the smoke cloud first, we saw his car while he was igniting the devices. I don't think it worked out as planned," said Patton.

On the video you see the suspect throw out several of the devices, but only one worked and provided very little coverage. "When people use homemade incendiary devices, smoke devices, or even explosive devices, often they're home-made and the person who is making them is not necessarily a professional or trained in the use of them. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't," said Patton.

But Patton says the suspect knew he needed them. "In this case I think it was clear he was familiar enough to know he was being videoed and that he was using the smoke devices to mask his presence there," said Patton.

Patton tells News 5 they believe the burglar left empty-handed despite trying to get into the jewelry store through a fake window. "The particular window that was broken was tinted. You couldn't see through the window and once the window was broken, [the suspect] realized it did not allow them access to the building," said Patton.

Now police are looking for the suspect and are asking for the public's help. "We're sure vehicles were in the area when it was going on," said Patton. "We're actually surprised no one called in the smoke."

We spoke with the owner of the store, who didn't want to go on camera. He said it was the first time they'd had anything like this happen at their Fort Henry location.

Kingsport Police are still looking for the suspect. They believe he is driving a newer black Ford Mustang with fog lights in the center of the grille and custom wheels.

If you have any information, you're asked to call the Kingsport Police Department at 423-229-9429.

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