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Guy stealing from security cam installer caught by security cam (and Facebook)

July 8, 2013 at 1:58 PM ET

There are some people in this world from whom you just shouldn't steal. One thief learned this lesson the hard way when he nicked ladders from a man who installs closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems for a living. Unsurprisingly, there was damning CCTV footage of the crime ... and it made its way online.

"DOES ANY ONE RECOGNISE THIS MAN?" British IT guy Barrie Smith asked his Facebook friends in his post of CCTV footage showing a man removing what Smith described as "expensive work ladders" from outside his home in Weston Super Mare, Somerset, England. "I knew that the guy had to live locally as he carried the ladders off on foot and did not drive them away," Smith told NBC News.

It took about a week before the thief was identified. "When the police went to his house, he came to the door wearing the same [sweater] that he was wearing in the CCTV footage," Smith says. The sweater had a large, identifiable logo. The thief was let off with a caution, a formal warning, and Smith got his ladders back.

"I'm a bit disappointed that more was not done — community service or something — it seems to me he got off lightly," Smith says. "Granted I should not of left the ladders in the front garden but all the same it is not right that someone comes on to my property to steal them!" Still, Smith points out that he was quite lucky — he'd only installed his own CCTV system about a week prior to the theft.

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