A smirking thief was caught on a hospital security camera in California -- stealing the very camera that snapped his mug, cops told The Huffington Post.
This unidentified Bakersfield man is the first face that local cops are able to attribute to a new crime wave plaguing the area: thieves and drug dealers stealing security cameras for their own homes.
"Usually they're going for the infrared equipment, but this guy just went for the camera -- it's the second time he's done so," Bakersfield Police Detective Scott Miller said. "We're getting hit with a bunch of these thefts lately ... They're likely using them to fortify their own homes for surveillance."
Criminals often use security cameras to give them advance warning when authorities might be paying them an unwanted visit with a search warrant, Miller said.
This particular alleged perp stole the camera from a local medical facility in December. But when hospital staff sent Miller the grinning photo a month later, he went public with it in an attempt to curb the camera-stealing trend.
"There's definitely an uptick," he said. "This guy just propped himself up and dismantled the camera and stole it. No arrests have been made."
PHOTOS: DUMB CRIME MUG SHOTS