An alleged CCTV camera thief captured in the act in Linden.

Johannesburg - He knows which CCTV cameras are high-end, carefully selecting the ones he wants to steal.

But what this thief doesn’t seem to have figured out is that the cameras record his face before they are removed.

Andre Snyman, founder of crime-fighting organisation eBlockwatch, has called this CCTV camera thief “the dumbest crook in Johannesburg”.

A picture of him at work has been posted on the eBlockwatch Facebook page.

It was posted by Fareed Hoosen, a member of the Linden neighbourhood and business watch.

The picture shows the man reaching towards the camera, leaving a close-up of his face before the camera is taken down.

Hoosen said footage of the man was taken around 3pm on Saturday from a home on 4th Avenue in Linden.

He said they had established that two men, who drive a motorbike, have been operating in the Linden and Emmarentia areas. They walk around the suburbs looking for homes that have the cameras installed, then simply cut the cable and take the camera.

“This man is an idiot because he just walks up to the camera without covering his face,” Hoosen said.

He said the neighbourhood watch and police had established there was a lucrative business for second-hand CCTV cameras in South Africa.

“A high-end CCTV system can sell for between R4 500 and R6 000. Good-quality cameras on their own sell for R700 to R1 000 each,” he said.

Hoosen said the men were definitely selecting high-end, better-quality cameras.

He said they were aware of at least four or five incidents that had happened in recent weeks in Linden and Emmarentia.

“There might be more, but they haven’t been reported because people probably think it isn’t worth reporting because it’s just a camera. They go out and buy another one,” Hoosen said.

He added that with this suspect so openly identifying himself, they hoped to make an arrest soon.

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The Star