Earlier today, a friend sent me a YouTube link that scared the crap outa me. In the 90-second video, an SUV pulls up to a house, three guys come onto the back porch, peer through the windows, and then one of them kicks in the door. A few seconds later, they carry a large flat-screen TV out to the SUV and take off.
The reason I had such a strong reaction to the video is because it was taken by surveillance camera at a house in Grant Park a few blocks from mine. I've been hearing about these smash-and-grab robberies around the neighborhood for months now, but it's unnerving to actually watch one in action.
Imagine, then, how unnerving the event was for Dan and Alyssa Kopp, the owners of the burglarized home.
Alyssa says the couple decided to install the video surveillance system when their house was unoccupied during a lengthy renovation earlier this year. Dan, a computer engineer, pulled the burglary footage off a hard drive and edited it down from four minutes.
The couple posted the video online and sent it to friends. As of late afternoon, it had been seen by nearly 2,000 YouTube visitors. So far, the Kopps have been contacted by us, the AJC and several local TV stations. Such is the power of the internets.
Alyssa has been pleasantly surprised by the speed of the response. Even as we talked on the phone, friends were sending her messages about a similar burglary video from East Atlanta, also on YouTube. Website visitors have posted comments speculating on the identity of the thieves.
The crime occurred around 10 a.m. Monday. The burglars were in the house for less than 30 seconds. In addition to the TV, they stole a laptop and a digital camera, Alyssa says. The police dusted for prints and took a report, but Alyssa sounds more optimistic about leads coming out of the video posting.
"I'd rather not get our stuff back, but they catch these guys so they stop terrorizing the neighborhood," she says.
Typical Atlanta City action - much ado about nothing. Strain at a gnat and swallow…