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Anchorage

As Anchorage crime soars, security cameras are catching more than just criminals

Last summer, someone stole Ashley Griffo's mail, found her bank numbers and drained a savings account. There were no witnesses. No arrest. No resolution.

Just a batch of missing letters and an uneasy feeling.

This summer, she bought security cameras. A web of electronic eyes, sleeplessly watching the driveway, the house and the mailbox as Anchorage endures record property crime.

One of the cameras recently spotted a bad guy. A man in shorts trotting across her driveway, a mysterious item clutched to his chest.

"He had been breaking in to property across O'Malley (Road) from us and ran into our neighborhood to get away," said Griffo, who lives on the Hillside.

But over the past three months the cameras caught something else too. Bunnies and black bears. Slow moose parading wobbly calves. An unidentified little beast — is that a fox?! — strolling in the bushes.

In pursuit of a silver lining to the property crime epidemic, the Daily News asked readers like Griffo to send those videos of the many times they were surprised to find critters, rather than criminals, on their home security cameras. Watch a sampling of the clips in the video above.

If anything, the footage made Griffo feel more at ease. If not about crime, then at least about sharing her neighborhood with Alaska wildlife.

"It's made me more comfortable with the idea of the bears being around," she said. "Because it confirms they are here and are not impacting my day to day so much."

Note: If you have a surveillance cam video of animals visiting your neighborhood, please send it to khopkins@adn.com.

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