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Editorial: Criminals caught on tape

Christmas has come and gone, but thanks to the joys of technology and social media, some of the holidayís more egregious criminal bloopers have been captured online, shiny proof that electronics arenít always passive victims.
There were the South Florida women who swiped enough inflatable lawn decorations from a neighborís home to qualify for grand theft ó all caught on the neighborís home-security camera. The Santa and snowmen were easily picked out of the lineup after the thieves set them up on their lawn just around the corner.
Then there were the two Ohio burglars who drove off with a haul of DVDs, only to have one of them pocket-dial 911 on his cell phone, allowing police to listen to their discussion of how to dispose of their loot for more than a hour, then catch them at the appointed second-hand shop.
Or the Virginia woman who abducted a ceramic Baby Jesus from a nativity scene, then posted her haul on her Facebook page, where someone she may wish to unfriend spotted it and tipped police.
And the burglar who broke into Pittsburgh liquor store and snatched two bottles of spiked eggnog while surveillance cameras rolled.
Not far away, in Beaver County, Pa., security cameras and mall cops spotted a three-person shoplifting ring in action and busted them, only to discover their van filled to the roof with more stolen goods they planned to fence on eBay. The case was made much easier because the thieves kept a hand-written, spiral notebook ledger of everything theyíd stolen on their spree and where.
Youíd think by now someone would have come up with an app for that.
ó Scripps Howard News Service

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