Usually the story ends there. Stolen bikes aren't exactly high priority items for police departments, so it typically ends up being an expensive lesson for a dejected child.
Except in Blainville, Quebec, where a dad, Sam Gabriel, is using technology to fight back. After a thief grabbed his 15-year-old son's bike out of their garage, he took his story to local media. Unknown to the thief, Gabriel had a wireless security camera installed in the garage, and he's threatening to upload high-definition video of the theft if the thief doesn't return the bike within the next ten days.
Wireless cameras have become hugely popular over the past couple of years. They're a lot cheaper than they used to be, and they've got lots of smarts built into them that make them ideal for home security. They can be accessed online via a mobile app, and they can even email you screen grabs if they detect movement.
A Canadian couple used this technology to bring a Florida thief to justice. After cameras in their Fort Myers Beach home alerted them to a break-in, the couple, who were in Canada at the time, took the footage of the break-in and gave it to police, who used it to arrest one Thomas Hinton. No, watching a robbery in real-time from thousands of miles away doesn't give you the power to reach through your Internet connection to grab the thief and hold him until police get there, but the evidence can be hugely powerful all the same.
I discussed the technology with CJAD Montreal's Andrew Carter on his morning show today. Audio here.
We may live in scary times, but it's nice to be able to use technology to turn the tables on criminals. Please excuse me while I go plug my own camera back in.