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Thief caught by CCTV camera he stole

A thief reportedly reaches up to steal a closed-circuit TV camera, not stopping to think that the camera might be taking pictures of him.

Q-See/Amazon screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I am loath to describe anyone as stupid.

Principally because I am acutely aware of my own stupidities. They are several and reveal themselves most days -- last night, for example.

However, I feel sure that several people will consider using this hard, unforgiving word to describe the reported behavior of Steven Wardle.

Wardle is a 35-year-old man who lives in the Midlands of England.

As the Daily Mail tells it, he is something of a thief.

His penchant was stealing close-circuit TV cameras -- perhaps, who knows, to re-sell them.

Still, it isn't necessarily easy or wise to steal CCTV cameras. (To illustrate this, I have embedded footage from previous English miscreants who tried to saw off a pole with a CCTV camera on it.)

You often have to climb up walls, drainpipes, or poles. Worse, the cameras might be on and therefore be sending pictures of your straining face back to recording machines.

This, sadly, is what happened in the case of Steven Wardle.

He was found guilty of stealing nine cameras from doctors' offices, housing association buildings, and council offices.

For this crime -- as well as handling stolen license plates and leaving a gas station without paying -- he was given a suspended 24-week jail sentence.

I don't think that means suspended from a wall beneath a CCTV camera.