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TRACY — In the arms race against porch pirates, the video doorbell is an increasingly popular option for homeowners.

In fact, one such camera came in handy recently in Tracy.

The video shows the thief helping himself to the homeowner’s delivery before noticing there was a camera. He tries unsuccessfully to pry the camera off the wall before making his way to a waiting car.

“It’s kind of pointless to a certain extent because a lot of these devices store to the cloud,” Tracy Police Captain Alex Neicu said. “So the image is already captured.”

Neicu says, like everywhere else in Northern California, package theft is a crime trend in Tracy. He says images from a doorbell camera can sometimes help catch a bad guy.

“We don’t have a name to go with that, so that’s when we reach to our community, basically asking, ‘Does anybody recognize this person?’ ‘Is it one of ours?’ Sometimes they’re local, sometimes they’re coming from out of town,” he said.

In this specific case, the thief might have been hard to identify. He keeps his head down when he snags the package. But when he tries to grab the camera, the lighting is just right and you can get a clear look at his face.

If you recognize that thief, or any other being circulated on social media or from your local police department, give your local police department a call.