A residential burglar got some unexpected attention last week when footage from a home security system was widely shared on social media.
After her mother’s house in Millbrae, California was robbed on July 31, An Huang Chen posted security video of the suspect along with a note to her Facebook page.
“Please help us catch this person that robbed my mom’s house,” she wrote.
“My mom suffers from dementia and this man broke into her house and stole all of her jewelry and Chinese antiques robbing her of the rest of her precious memories.”
As of Friday, August 11, the video had garnered 356,485 views and the post had been shared over 4000 times.
According to the San Mateo Journal, police were still searching for the suspect on August 3, and hoped the footage would assist them in making an arrest.
“Someone out there will know this person,” Detective Sal Zuno told the paper.
Remaining unidentified is obviously of key importance to home burglars. But the proliferation of user-friendly home security systems seems to be making that prospect rarer — especially when video footage gets shared not only with police but also with a wider network.
Three other small-scale intruders were seen by a larger audience than planned last year, when home security footage taken by a Canary system aired on ABC news. The clip shows the attempted robbers — who appear to be teenagers — enter a home, and then promptly exit after the security system’s alarm goes off.
In the clip from Millbrae shared to Facebook last week, the burglar can be seen placing his hands underneath his shirt in what is likely an attempt to keep fingerprints off the scene. That method of anonymity is probably less effective when your entire face and body are caught on camera.
If you’re interested in buying a camera for your home, read our review of the best home security cameras.