Catch a thief

We've had a string of car robberies in our neighborhood over the past week. The burglars are basically going around and looking for cars that are unlocked and taking things. I'm thinking this might be a great opportunity for a project. One thought I have is to put some kind of sensor on the door, then when it is opened trigger my camera to take a picture (my camera would be inside, so I'd have a second Arduino or remove shutter release to get a signal, not sure yet).

Another thought is to use the distance sensor/ethernet shield to alert me on my computer the moment the door is open.

Anyway, I'm looking for good suggestions and ideas.

Another thought is to use the distance sensor/ethernet shield to alert me on my computer the moment the door is open.

Your car has an ethernet port?

The burglars are basically going around and looking for cars that are unlocked and taking things.

The simplest way to avoid that without any electronics is to lock the doors, imho.

As far as my car, I do keep it locked, but I think it sucks that people are stealing things. No ethernet port–I’d use a shield.

No ethernet port--I'd use a shield.

Connected to what? An Ethernet shield lets you connect an Arduino to a router/switch/network port.

Ever thought about getting an alarm system for your car?

Well anyways, what you could do is monitor the door with a sensor and if the door is opened (when it shouldn't be), you could activate an air horn. It should be loud enough to be heard a few blocks down, and hope the thief was not deaf to begin with.

runningdude22: my camera would be inside

This sounds like a recipe for having your camera stolen. :(

What you're trying to make seems to be essentially a car alarm, and I suggest it'd probably be more effective and reliable if you simply fit a good car alarm - your insurers would probably thank you too.