Burglars in Milwaukee are looking to stay one step ahead of the game by stealing certain items that may betray their criminal activity. Unfortunately, for two men who recently stole thousands of dollars’ worth of tools from a vacant house on 74th Street and Silver Spring Drive, they had no idea that they’d also taken a hidden security camera that was still transmitting, broadcasting live footage of their lawbreaking to the owners of the house, and to law enforcement.

According to the real estate broker and owner of the house, Erica Winship of Premier Point Realty, the burglars made off with around $8,000 in tools along with the camera, which they stumbled upon whilst ransacking the house. The phone-enabled camera, which is battery operated, is still transmitting after nearly eight days, and displaying (as of Monday night) members of the burglary team using drugs and discussing which “fences or buyers” to sell the stolen goods to.

Winship lamented the fact that the burglars destroyed a property where someone had worked hard to make a livable, beautiful environment. She made assumptions that the burglars had no idea that the phone-enabled surveillance device was active or may just not care at all, as they continued to use the camera they thought they stole for themselves to get high and negotiate stolen goods.

Milwaukee police are continuing to investigate this case, but as of press time, no arrests have been made. This particular case of theft is unusual, but it is also not the first time that crooks have stolen something that coming back to haunt them. Earlier this month, police in the UK arrested two men after they stole an Alexa-enabled device that inadvertently recorded their conversation about the heist.

Burglars ever-increasingly tend to target places without them being caught on camera. Although, this case is somewhat atypical for the simple fact the burglars had removed something presuming it was of no use, but they were irreversibly wrong. Criminals by their nature take risks, but every decision they make during the criminal act increases the chance of ending up imprisoned. It is always a risk vs. reward decision, and in this scenario, the criminal got nothing but severe punishment.

The simple message to burglars and would-be thieves is that you’re not always going to know everything going on in the house you break into. You may take a phone, a voice assistant, or even something as innocuous as a coffee-table book that could change the course of your life for the worse. A sobering thought indeed.

This article is based on the original report by WISN 12