A London, Ont., woman has gone viral for her attempt to dissuade thieves from breaking into her pickup truck.
Michelle Kaplan caught four people she said were breaking into her work truck over a three-day period.
Kaplan has lived in London’s Woodfield neighbourhood near the downtown for five years, and over that time she said she’s been the victim of countless vehicle thefts.
That prompted her to install a camera, which sends her a notification every time it’s activated.
The break-ins happened between July 19-21. Kaplan told Global News Radio 980 CFPL she slept through the first three notifications because they were too quiet, but once she changed the alert setting, she was able to confront the fourth thief.
“I hit a button and I spoke with the guy — it’s got two-way communication — and I said, ‘Get out of my truck right now,'” she said.
“It scared him pretty good. That particular individual got away with one of our branded work shirts, which had been used for a couple of days, so it probably would’ve been pretty smelly. I hope he actually put it on and realized his mistake,” Kaplan said.
“The Americans have been hilarious,” Kaplan told The Taz Show on FM96, referring to comments made online. “The one that made me laugh the hardest was, ‘Build the wall.'”
Kaplan’s videos have been viewed thousands of times.
The truck is a work truck with tinted windows and Kaplan said it’s always been a target in her community.
“If people can’t see that there aren’t tools in there, the assumption is there are. The actual owner of the truck is not me, but it does get parked in my driveway,” Kaplan said.
“He’s had approximately 15 windows smashed over the years of owning his business.”
Kaplan has received both support and criticism after posting the videos.
“A lot of people are saying if you leave your doors unlocked, you have only yourself to blame,” she said.
“I’m thinking to myself, ‘No. Regardless of what I choose to do, if they are entering my vehicle uninvited, that is at the very least trespassing. If they take something, that’s theft,” Kaplan said.
“Call it what you want to, this is not acceptable behaviour.”
According to Kaplan, London Police have identified one of the four people caught on film and may know the identity of another.
Asked if she has plans to move, Kaplan said not a chance.
“I don’t believe in adjusting my life style because somebody else is a punk.”
Theft from vehicles is a persistent problem in the Forest City. A London Police crime map shows the problem is wide-spread across the city. Crime stats show police investigated 20 vehicle break-in’s over a four-day period from July 18-22.
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