Stealing a camera outside a Manteca home might have seemed like a simple job: Loosen the screws fastening it to the side of the house and make off with it before the homeowner returns.
The only problem for the eyebrow-furrowing man in the sweat shirt and baseball cap was the fact that it was a surveillance camera. A tape inside the home recorded him fidgeting with the device. And police recognized the face.
“Sometimes we just get really lucky and they aren’t too bright,” Manteca Police Capt. Dave Bricker said. “Of course you have to look at it steal it.”
He said Erich Hans Urbat, 25, was wearing the same hooded gray sweat shirt as the man in the video when they arrested him early this morning.
After the April 1 burglary, owners of the Willow Avenue home handed over the surveillance video to police, who remembered Urbat. They had arrested him on suspicion of a burglary in February — also after having recognized him on tape, police said. And the man in the new video had pushed up the sleeves of his sweat shirt, revealing a tattoo on his forearm matching one police say Urbat has.
They recovered a camera Wednesday at the home of a woman they believe to be Urbat’s girlfriend, 21-year-old Samantha Nemie. The footage had caught a second person taking another camera whom they suspect is her.
She was arrested on charges of suspicion of grand theft, possession of stolen property, conspiracy, identity theft and committing a felony while free on her own recognizance, Bricker said.
He said Urbat was arrested on suspicion of theft, burglary and committing a crime while out on his own recognizance.