Police are searching for a burglar who accidentally snapped a video selfie when he lifted an iPhone in Venice, California, on July 11, according to KTLA 5.
At about 7 a.m. that day, the burglar walked through an unlocked side door, the Los Angeles Police Department said.
According to police, two 15-year-old girls and a woman were sleeping in adjacent rooms in the house while the thief went through the home.
The suspect found an iPhone and accidentally activated a video app that took a very clear shot of his face while he was standing in the victim’s living room. The incriminating video uploaded instantly to the homeowner’s cloud, and, thanks to a previously installed phone program, sent him an online notification that somebody had recorded a video.
“He essentially turned it on himself, and then filmed himself, and put it in his pocket and took it back home, thinking that he was stealing something,” burglary victim Drew Rosen told KTLA 5, adding that “he got a nice video that goes through the Internet to a website that I downloaded, and I called the police.”
After he got in touch with the LAPD, Rosen sent them the remotely accessed video, and they released it publicly on July 16, in the hopes that somebody will be able to identify the suspect.
Rosen was not driven to submit the video simply to track down the missing phone, however. He said that crime in his neighborhood has increased lately. Somebody recently broke into his neighbor’s house too, and he worries about his family’s safety.
“The scariest part about it is my daughter was inside, and I had a roommate inside sleeping,” he said.
Concerned that the burglar would get into somebody else’s house while the inhabitants were present, Rosen did not hesitate to release the video for the sake of his neighbors, he said.
The ironic part, Rosen notes, is that the incriminating phone appears to be the only thing the burglar stole.