The mayor of Stephenville, Tom O'Brien, suspects that someone who was illegally dumping garbage also stole one of the town's surveillance cameras last weekend. 

Stephenville Mayor Tom O'Brien

Mayor Tom O'Brien says a surveillance camera was stolen last weekend. (CBC)

O'Brien won't say where the camera was hidden, but it was in an area where there's been a problem with garbage.

The camera's disappearance was discovered when a town employee went to check on the memory card. But O'Brien said the thief won't be able to use the camera, which cost about $1,000.

"The camera is password-protected so they wouldn't be able to get the information and they certainly wouldn't be able to use it for anything else," said O'Brien. "If people are involved with illegal dumping then they want to destroy the evidence, I guess."

The surveillance camera program started several years ago. Cameras are put in areas where there are problems with illegal dumping. The use of the cameras have resulted in charges being laid in the past. 

O'Brien said the cameras have now been changed to ones that immediately transmit the photos as soon as they're taken. 

"We're determined to outlast individuals that are doing that kind of thing," said O'Brien. 

Last year, the RCMP arrested a woman in Stephenville doing the same thing — stealing a surveillance camera. Unbeknownst to her, as she stole one camera, the other surveillance camera was recording her.