LIVERMORE -- A Livermore resident fed up with a series of thefts at his home used a security camera to nab a man police say is the primary suspect.
Police said a theft report was sent to the Alameda County District Attorney after 22-year-old Stephen Ruth of Livermore admitted Sunday to being the man taking items from a porch on Walnut Street, Livermore police Sgt. John Hurd said. What charges Ruth may face are still being determined.
The resident told police that he installed the security camera because he was frustrated by a series of thefts in his front and backyards over a period of several weeks. The camera showed a man entering the front porch and taking items from the porch.
Police were called Wednesday to review the camera's content, which the resident also posted on YouTube. The video was shared with officers in the Livermore Police Department.
On Thursday, a traffic officer within the department responded to a collision, and one of the men involved in it appeared to be a suspect in the video, Hurd said. Police later identified that man as Ruth.
Police found Ruth on Sunday and confronted him with the video, Hurd said. Ruth admitted he was the man seen in the video but told police he entered the porch area only to steal cigarette butts from an ashtray. A search of the home did not turn up stolen property, Hurd said.
Thefts of items off front porches are common during the holiday season, Hurd said, and police advise residents not to leave valuable items outside and to avoid having packages in unsecure packages delivered to your property. Adequate lighting also can be used a precautionary measure, he said.
Rick Hurd covers crime. Contact him in Walnut Creek at 925-945-4780 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rdERH.