Well, everything’s in place to catch a petty thief. I have a “dummy” Sunday paper ready with which to get up early and bait the trap, I have the DV cam aimed in the right direction and I have the software set (fingers crossed) to automatically record Quicktime movies whenever the motion sensor is tripped. Now all we need is for whoever’s been stealing my L.A. Times these last two Sundays to try and go for three straight and to get caught in the act of doing so.

Of course, inside the dummy edition (consisting of the last couple days’ Times I saved for the occasion) is a note advising the property-thieving polyp to enjoy the old news and to understand that he or she is totally busted:

July 1, 2007

If you’re reading this it’s because you’ve taken the bait I left for you. I trust you’ll understand that I’m not very sorry to have to deny you. In fact, I’m ecstatic! But don’t worry: As a consolation prize I hope you’ll enjoy the decoy I assembled for you.

Or maybe you should be worried because as a consolation for me I know I’m going to enjoy posting to the internet any ootage I captured of you committing the theft. See, after my paper was stolen last week I went and set up a surveillance camera to catch you trespassing and stealing my property. I don’t mess around.

I’m hopeful that everything worked out and you were properly recorded in the act of committing the crimes, but you know how technology is… sometimes it can be as retarded as a person who steals another person’s $1.50 newspaper (that most any idiot can read online for free, by the way).

But barring any malfunctions, you and anyone else in the world should be able to see yourself stealing my newspaper on YouTube.com later this morning. Just do a search using the following term (no spaces):

• thisistheassbagwhostolemypapertoday

UPDATED (07.01): The bait was laid out at 5:45 a.m. and more than three hours later the trap remains unsprung. I’ll leave the dummy paper out a little longer but I’m thinking it’s too hot and too late to catch my quarry in the act this week. Maybe next Sunday I’ll try again.