We tweeted about the Edmonton statue thief earlier this summer, but the whole story carries lessons for homeowners and burglars alike.

Most of us think of burglars skulking around in the darkness of night, or sneaking into backyards when you’re not at home. But if there’s one thing the security video footage proves, it is that thefts can occur at just about any time of day and without any ‘sneaking’ at all.

The footage from Tim Barnes’ front porch security camera shows a seemingly unlikely, but all too common, theft scenario. In it, a late-model SUV stops in the middle (and we mean dead centre!) of the road in front of the Barnes home. A woman pops out and walks up to a four-foot replica Ming statue that’s mounted on the front porch. With a little jostling to free the statue from its base, the woman hoists it up and trots back to put the statue in the SUV and drive away.

Aside from the complete lack of effort to cover her tracks, the woman pulled off the heist at 8:30 pm on the second longest day of the year, June 20th – in other words, in broad daylight.

Fortunate to have the video footage, Barnes uploaded it to Facebook and, with the help of neighbours, the video soon went viral, getting almost 60,000 views in just three days. With the help of the video and the attention it got online, police tweeted that they had a suspect just a little over a week after the theft.

For homeowners, one of the lessons to be learned from the story is the power of security cameras and the footage they capture. More than simply catching a bandit in the act, the video can quickly reach everyone in the community through social media to not only alert them to potential danger, but to actually help in identifying and apprehending the culprit.

For thieves, video surveillance should be a major deterrence to illegal activity because, not only will you be caught, but you might become a social media star for all the wrong reasons.