ALAMEDA, Calif. (KTVU) - A Christmas thief was caught on camera, but he wasn’t stealing packages off a porch in Alameda, he instead stole surveillance cameras.
The victim, who didn’t want to be identified, said he was away with his family for the holiday when he was awakened to an alert on his smartphone and saw the thief outside his door.
About 2:30 a.m. on Christmas, surveillance video shows a white sedan backing up along Lincoln Avenue in Alameda and then pulling over. A man is seen emerging from the car, climbing the stairs, and easily stealing a home surveillance camera. The thief walked right past the two packages sitting on the porch.
Minutes later, the suspect returns in his car and goes back up the stairs with a black crate in his hands. He is seen on camera giving himself a boost, before snatching and stealing a second Blink wireless camera, which retails for about $100. A third camera that was out of reach wasn’t touched but was able to capture the crime.
“During the holiday season, we typically do see a rise in property crimes,” Lt. Matt McMullen said. “I think we always need to remain vigilant.”
Even Alameda Police admit this is unusual because it’s not often someone just steals cameras and then leaves, however, police said it could have been this thief’s attempt to prepare for a future home burglary.
“The point of having a camera is to prevent or deter this kind of crime,” McMullen said.
The cameras’ owner immediately called 911 and shared photos and video with police. Nothing other than the two cameras were taken.
The victim and his family cut their holiday vacation short and did return home to check on things.
Officers are now searching for the man seen in the blue coat. Leads can be reported to them at 510-337-8340.
“We want to create a safe environment and we encourage people to have surveillance cameras,” McMullen said. “The last thing we want is for them to be stolen.”