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Intruder caught by camera hidden in cereal box

An audacious criminal who set up home in a Sydney office block, returning every night after staff left to eat, sleep and shower, has been caught with the aid of a tiny camera hidden in a box of cereal.

By Bonnie Malkin in Sydney

Last Updated: 10:11AM BST 04 May 2009

Employees at The Marketing Store became suspicious when they were greeted at work each morning by small signs left by the nocturnal visitor.

One senior employee noticed his office sofa was a bit crumpled, there was evidence that the staff showers had been used overnight, and up to six bowls a night of cereal was disappearing from the kitchen.


Initially, members of staff began to accuse each other of entertaining in the office after hours, but no one could be convinced to come forward.

The situation could have continued, had the unwanted guest not become sloppy.

"About four weeks ago I came in and it was in a particularly bad state – there were some tablets lying around, and some tobacco or weed on the floor," Doug Chapman, the company's Asia Pacific president, told The Sydney Morning Herald.


The mess was reported to the landlord, but security cameras had failed to detect any intruders.

It was not until a woman from the company's kitchen came up with the idea of hiding a camera in a cereal box that the mystery was solved.

"She knew we were either huge eaters or someone was stealing cereal," Mr Chapman said.

"She got a cereal box and hid a small camera inside and put it on a benchtop in the kitchen."


The motion-sensitive camera captured clear photos of the intruder, who had slipped into the fifth-floor office via an overhead ventilation panel and left via the fire escape.

On his next visit, the man – described "particularly neat" and "very clean cut" – was greeted by a security guard. The company declined to press charges, but warned the unwanted visitor to stay away.



Fop caught on camera at last. ;)

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