WASHINGTON - D.C. police are investigating after a man reported his car was wheeled away by thieves in a tow truck early Sunday.
NEST video shows the tow truck pulling up on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue near 1st Street in Southeast at 4:19 a.m. The car falls off the lift once but is hooked up again and taken away — all in about two minutes.
Lyndon Bilal said he just purchased the car, a grey Honda Accord Sport Hybrid.
"Only had it six weeks. Beautiful car," Bilal said. "So many compliments I got everywhere I went with it."
He said at least he had the surveillance footage, so he knows how and why his car vanished after he parked it directly in front of his home the evening prior.
"I was hurt, but nothing I could do about it," Bilal said. "I’ll probably never see the car whole again. I doubt it."
Bilal, a veteran, has lived in his home for nearly three decades, raising five children there. He admits it hasn’t always been easy. There was the time someone slammed into his parked car and hit a tree. Then about 15 years ago he says his car was stolen for the first time.
On Monday, when FOX 5 was interviewing him about this second theft, our camera captured a head-on collision down the street involving a sedan and a private ambulance. Everyone appeared to be okay and police arrived within 15 seconds.
Bilal says it was his daughter, a city employee, who urged him to get surveillance cameras through D.C.’s private security camera rebate program where the city will pay for cameras as long as they are registered with police.
"You can get nice cameras that will capture activities that may help someone else or yourself," Karimah Bilal said.
She’s hoping the footage could help get her father’s car back or at least put people on the lookout for similar crimes.
"When he got this vehicle he was so excited. He brought it by, I checked it out, and I loved it," she said. "And it was heartbreaking to see that someone who worked so hard like my father had to experience this."
Bilal has stuck it out through a lot in his neighborhood, but he says being a crime victim again makes him think about living somewhere quieter.
"Definitely gives me second thoughts about considering staying here much longer," he said.
D.C. police say they are investigating what happened and looking into whether there have been similar thefts in the city.