A would-be car thief was in for a serious shock after being startled by the unexpected flash from a car dashcam.
The unnamed man in question had been prowling around a residential car park in Beaverton, Oregon, looking for unlocked cars. He was reportedly accompanied by other individuals, who were not captured by the dashcam.
Just 10 seconds after entering a resident’s Mini, the man triggered the car’s Owlcam, a motion-activated device that starts recording without any light. Once the flash came on, the camera captured the thief’s panicked expression with perfect clarity.
You can find out more about this story in the following ABC7 news report:
They say a picture tells a thousand words, and this footage certainly tells a story. We first see the man’s shock as the bright light floods the darkened vehicle, which quickly escalates to terror as he realises he is staring straight into the dashcam.
The man then dashes from the vehicle at the speed of light, fleeing the scene without having stolen so much as a pine-scented air freshener.
The Mini owner first discovered something was up after her neighbour alerted her after spotting the car door had been left open. After checking her Owlcam notifications, the woman realised she had captured crystal-clear footage of the thief, which she then handed over to the police.
With the thief still on the loose, the car owner has chosen to remain anonymous. However, she has spoken out about the incident during an interview with ABC7, describing the Owlcam as being ‘worth every penny’:
Nothing was missing, but you could see someone had gone through my car. The first thing I did was I looked at my notifications and I went, ‘I’ve got a picture of the guy who broke into our car!’
The footage has since gone viral, sparking various memes, jokes and gifs. The thief’s startled face has also inadvertently given the car owner a bit of a laugh following what was no doubt a very stressful situation.
Speaking with ABC7, the woman expressed amusement at the video and the reaction it has subsequently received:
I just kept playing back the video because it was just so funny. I’m just glad it’s getting the attention it’s getting because I’m all about making sure people don’t get away with stuff.
Officers are reportedly still looking for the man in question, and are being aided in their search by this unusually clear picture.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.