And Emmy for Crime Show Goes to ...

Times Staff Writer

When a thief ripped off two surveillance cameras outside a Riverside dentist’s office last week, he appeared to make a clean getaway.

His pudgy, mustached face also appeared live, on camera, while he was taking them down.

Riverside police nabbed Charles Posvar, 35, this week after more than a dozen tipsters identified him from the camera footage, which was recorded inside the dentist’s office and later broadcast throughout Southern California on news programs.

Police couldn’t find the cameras when searching Posvar’s home. But he apparently couldn’t bear to part with the shirt he had worn for his on-camera caper, with its distinctive skull-and-flames design. Police found the shirt and plan to use it, with the footage, as evidence.


Posvar admitted the theft when he was arrested Tuesday and booked at the Riverside County jail for grand theft and probation violations, wearing a toned-down Iron Maiden T-shirt, said Riverside Police Det. Kevin Townsend.

Townsend said he couldn’t recall a Riverside crime quite that brazen.

“We’ve had crimes caught on videotape -- robberies and things like that -- but nothing like this, where the guy looks right into the camera as he removes it,” Townsend said.

Posvar has an extensive rap sheet -- including car thefts, drug possession, battery and DUI -- and multiple booking photos helped police further identify him. He told police that, after seeing his mug on television, he quickly shaved his head and his mustache.


“He basically said, ‘What took you guys so long?’ ” Townsend said.