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Caught on video: Seagull sneakily steals GoPro

An Italian woman visits San Francisco last month and seemingly becomes a victim of a feathered camera thief. Unless, of course, the thief was GoPro's marketing department.

In some ways, seagulls act like squirrels of the skies. Wikimedia Commons/Arzun

When Nathalie Rollandin visited the San Francisco Bay Area in late August, she got quite the tourist's welcome when her GoPro camera ended up being stolen -- by a devious avian thief -- with the heist recorded on video.

In the short clip below, a seagull clearly snatches the camera, then takes flight over the sunset-kissed blue waters near the Golden Gate Bridge. The bird emits a brief noise during the crime, indicating a successful capture or perhaps simply a "see ya sucker." After a short flight, the bird drops the camera dozens of feet away, perhaps realizing the prey wasn't that tasty after all.

After the bird departs into the glimmer of the sun, it's somewhat surreal (and possibly the sign of a creative viral-marketing scheme?) to see the camera's rightful owner appear, looking elated to retrieve the item.

More than 2 million YouTube views later, this anonymous San Francisco seagull and GoPro owner's brief encounter proves that crime doesn't pay, unless you have ad revenue enabled on your videos.

GoPro HD Hero2