Homeowner catches car thieves on camera: “They knew exactly what they were doing”

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MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee man says his car was stolen in the middle of the night. But what the crooks probably did not realize is that this car owner had an extra set of eyes. Maybe more surprising is where the car ended up.

Dorian Principal

Dorian Principal

When Dorian Principal, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, woke up a few weeks ago, his car was nowhere to be seen.

"Sweet ride. It's a Honda 1997. She gets me everywhere," said Principal.

With the wheels gone, Principal rolled back the tape on his home's state-of-the-art surveillance system. It turns out, the entire heist was caught on camera.

Dorian Principal

Dorian Principal

A man broke into the locked car, somehow got it started and then drove off.

"They knew exactly what they were doing," Principal said.

Dorian Principal's car stolen

Dorian Principal's car stolen

Dorian Principal's surveillance cameras

Dorian Principal's surveillance cameras

The theft was recorded on one of Principal's 12 cameras. Each covers a different vantage point of his home.

"Does it stop things from happening? Not necessarily. But at least we are able to articulate and show better what happens when something happens," Principal said.

The next day, a family member spotted Principal's Honda -- before he could even file a police report. The vehicle was found just six blocks away from Principal's home. The thieves parked the stolen car across from a home that also had security cameras.

Dorian Principal's car stolen

Dorian Principal's car stolen

In less than 24 hours, Principal had his car back. Principal told FOX6 News he has plenty of video of the suspects.

Principal said he has had the security system for many years. Principal said he did not specialize in surveillance equipment while in the military. He said a family member has shared that knowledge.

Dorian Principal

Dorian Principal

2 comments

  • Reasonless

    Mayor McTrolley will fine Mr Principal big bucks for not having a permit for all of those cameras.Too many cameras are an unfair vantage for the criminal. They can sue for unfair crime conditions.

    • Klaatu

      True story you told there!……….I believe he’ll also be charged with invading the privacy of citizens on a public street as well as failing to properly secure his vehicle – in effect he was baiting the criminals by parking on the street.

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