Alleged Camera Thief Inadvertently Snaps Selfie

Authorities say the man whose face was caught by a surveillance camera he stole appears to be a 22-year-old white male, measuring in at about 6-foot-2

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Investigators are searching for a man who stole a surveillance camera from a Harbor City resident’s front porch last Sunday. Hetty Chang reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 24, 2014.

    A man suspected of burglarizing the outside of a Harbor City home inadvertently snapped a selfie using the home security camera he stole, police said.

    Police released a still photo of the subject this week. The picture was captured as the man stole cameras the morning of Jan. 19 from a home on Batey Avenue in Harbor City, said LAPD Detective Don Eldridge.

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    Eldridge said detectives are taking the normal steps required to find the burglar but admitted that, thanks to the image, their job should be easier.

    “We have his face,” Eldridge said, of the near crystal-clear photo. “You can change your clothes, but you can’t change your face, so we know what he looks like.”

    Investigators believe the man might be from around the Harbor City neighborhood, and they said he's in his early 20s, and is believed to be 6 foot 2.

    Shirley Tanaka, the resident whose cameras were stolen, told NBC4 on Friday that she's noticed a spike in crimes in her neighborhood recently -- that's why she got cameras installed in the first place.

    "Cameras are a luxury to me," she said. "Only the rich or businesses have these things."

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    In a matter of seconds, though, Tanaka said the man stole two of her and her husband's three live security cameras. 

    "He was already reaching up because he knew what he wanted to do -- he had gloves on," Tanaka said. "In no time he just snipped the cable."

    The cameras captured him going onto the Tanakas' driveway, and then disabling the cameras before taking them off the property.

    "I don't think he knew it was running," Detective Juan Camacho told the Daily Breeze. "It's pretty stupid."

    Authorities are asking that anyone with any information call Camacho at 310-726-7855.

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