TOOELE, Utah — A Tooele woman’s security cameras captured just how easy it can be for thieves if you leave valuables within reach.
“You just feel violated,” said Stephanie Bothell.
On Monday at 4:30 p.m., doorbell footage shows her son backing out of the family driveway to head to work. The garage doors don’t go down.
“As they’re pulling out, I can see the guy pushing a bicycle by,” she said. “Then in my next shot three minutes later, he had put on a mask, rode his bicycle up into the garage, and rode out with my generator.”
Bothell said her garage door sensors have a tendency to think certain shadows and lighting are objects in the way. The family has had issues in the past with the door not closing all the way.
She wants to warn her neighbors that all it takes is a few seconds for a criminal to see a window of opportunity and take it.
“I think he knew that there was a camera. He put on his mask,” she said.
Lt. Jeremy Hansen with the Tooele City Police Department said the city has a significant amount of property crimes.
“There are people brazen enough just like in this video that in broad daylight will come up into your garage,” he said.
As for Bothell’s neighborhood, he said there haven’t been any significant cases or trends of theft or burglary in the past three weeks. Regardless, he said it’s a good reminder to be on the lookout for people acting suspicious.
“We’re always asking our public — lock your vehicles. Don’t leave valuables inside. Make sure to close the garage even when you’re home,” he said.
Bothell doesn’t think she’ll get her generator back but she at least hopes people will keep an eye out so the guy can get caught.
“Lesson learned: Don’t leave the garage door open for three minutes or even one minute, 'cause crimes of opportunity will happen,” she said.