Busted stories like the follow one are always amusing, but it really makes you wonder about the audacity of some thieves out there. Recently, a thief stole a camera and lens from a special exhibit at the Multnomah County’s Central Library. The exhibit featured a display full of police crime-fighting tools. The thief immediately went for a Nikon camera and lens which ironically was located next to a book titled “Crime Scene Photography”, an old fingerprint magnifying glass, a plastic police evidence bag, and bright yellow evidence markers. A surveillance camera in the library caught the whole thing, and another surveillance camera even caught the thief holding the camera in the elevator as he exited the library.
Most thieves are smart enough not to return to the scene of a crime, but this thief further proved his stupidity by returning to the library three days later. An on duty security officer noticed the man amongst the other library patrons and though he was similar looking to the still image of the thief that had been caught on the library’s surveillance camera. Consequently, the security officer immediately called the police.
Officer Marshall Akom arrived. After verifying the man matched the suspect’s photo, Akom walked up to him. “Look at me,” the officer said to him, interrupting his computer game. Akom held up a still image of the camera thief to the suspect’s face. “Yeah man, that’s me,” the suspect responded. Upon arrest, Kenneth C. Brakebill, a 56-year-old transient, admitted to stealing the camera, police said.
When taken in to custody, Brakebill admitted to having stolen camera but he claimed to have sold it to a passenger that he had met on the train for just $20.
Then when it came to prosecutors formally charging Brakebill, Ken Jones, a criminalist was brought in to determine the camera’s value. Jones used Craigslist to research its value by seeing what other comparable cameras were going for. While researching the camera he noticed a similar camera for sale. Jones emailed the seller and arranged to meet him. When Jones finally met up with the seller and took a look at the camera’s serial numbers, he was able to verify that the serial number matched the camera that Brakebill had originally stolen.
Jones, who sits on the Portland Police Historical Society’s board of directors, said he was happy to recover the bureau’s equipment. To have a smash and grab theft in the middle of a busy library, and from a police exhibit… “that’s what kills me,” Jones said. “I love it.”
“It’s beyond understanding,” said Huff, the Police Museum director. “I mean, what was he thinking? Well, he wasn’t…couldn’t have been.”
(Via Oregon Live)