‘Binary Bandit’ Stealing House Numbers Off Philly Homes

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It is a very bizarre crime. Neighbors cannot figure out why these thieves are targeting very specific items from outside of their homes.

Thankfully, a security camera caught one of these brazen thefts in action and they’re hoping it will help police catch the culprit.

You might not notice, what’s missing unless you live there. It’s very clear to neighbors. In a bizarre crime spree, it looks like thieves have removed only the zeroes and ones from some house numbers in the area.

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Surveillance video from a home on Amber Street shows an instance of theft around 1:30 on Tuesday morning. “She just walked up and took the number without hesitation,” said homeowner Meghan Haley.

Haley calls the thief, the binary bandit. “I would like to send her the bill for the number when I purchase a new one.”

She’s just one of at least a dozen homeowners impacted.

The trend continues down the street at Eric McConathey’s house. “Could be worse, but it’s definitely annoying,” he said.

Some neighbors filed police reports with the 26th District, but so far, few answers. “Everybody is speculating that this is going to be a part of some type of art installation,” Haley said. “Or, somebody’s trying to send a message in some way.”

“If you come back, I’m going to have a big problem with it,” said Krista Ricca. “It’s very frustrating.

There doesn’t seem to be a pattern to the thefts. Some homes here have not been impacted. Police say if caught, the thieves could face several charges including theft and criminal trespassing. Anyone with information is asked to contact police.

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