The thief goes stealing so often, until he breaks in

The own mugshot put on the net

The department store thief who wanted to steal the surveillance camera, of all things, has become a classic. But with the progress of the technology and the intelligence of the criminals, which could not keep up here, also this was topped in the meantime.

Don Bruce, night manager of the Times Herald-Record, was pretty pissed: In one week, his house had been broken into twice while he was doing his job at night – editing the stories of the day, listening to the police radio to make sure he didn’t miss any interesting stories, and in between shoving a pizza between his teeth.

So he set up a trap. Not a mousetrap, although a mouse belonged to it, but a webcam. He thought, who is so stubborn and comes twice in one week, he can’t get enough and comes a third time.

And indeed, around 21.00 o’clock he saw a tattooed guy standing in his study at home, who even once looked directly into the camera. Also a tattoo became clearly visible.

Three burglaries in one week was once too much

When the news chief called the police, the operator there was a bit puzzled at first, how he could know all these details, which he printed out in the meantime. In the meantime, the whole newsroom was watching the burglar, who continued to tinker around in the journalist’s study, while a patrol car in the area was informed.

Until this had arrived at the scene, the thief had fled though. But after 20 minutes the police found him in the woods behind the house. He lived directly across the street and had therefore always seen when Don Bruce went to work.

Others, however, had less luck with such cameras in the past. Be it the racetrack owner who wants to save the costs for the license of the surveillance software (Who digs others a video pit…), the Dutchman who forgot to turn off his webcam in time (Sex accident with webcam) and many others who do not realize that their private TV has many viewers (The voyeur’s paradise: "Big Brother" for all and for free).

It is even more stupid to steal a wireless camera in the form of a camera phone and use it to take pictures of yourself and your friends without knowing exactly what the device is doing.

Thief puts pictures of himself online

This is what happened to John Clennan, a New Yorker who was working at a supermarket in Long Island at night and forgot to lock his car: his cell phone was stolen, which he only noticed a few days later and called his service provider to have it locked.

The service provider, Sprint PCS, offers its customers to upload the photographed images to a web server. The thief curiously looked at the web space belonging to his cell phone to see if any new pictures had been uploaded by the thief. And indeed: the thief had taken about 40 pictures and five videos, and dutifully uploaded them to the web space belonging to the cell phone. He was seen producing himself alone, with friends, girlfriend and family in front of the cell phone camera.

When John Clennan inspected his account further, he discovered that the new owner had forwarded some of the photos to a certain Yahoo email account. John then also sent an e-mail there with the threat: "I will plaster the whole city with photos of your face"! But the thief was not impressed, answered the e-mail – of course with his full name as sender – and in turn made comments about a friend of the thief who had sent him text messages on the phone in question.

Now John Clennan had had enough and posted the story and some of the photos on a local forum, where it naturally generated a lot of interest. On the other hand, he went to the police only last week, because after all it was his own fault that he had not locked his car. The police officer who took the report was quite amused.

When the editors of Wired finally picked up the story, they also sent an email to the thief. He claimed not to have stolen the phone, but only to have "found" it. With the help of Yahoo, it is now only a matter of time before he is tracked down.

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