Clearly, the Laptop Bandit slept through most of his courses at the Criminal Mastermind Academy.

Had he paid better attention, he likely would have learned that it's never a good idea to stare at a video camera, sans mask, when committing a burglary.

Detectives said the middle-aged crook has stolen at least a dozen laptops from five Center City businesses in recent weeks.

Police said the heists began on March 20 and continued through April 1 at businesses near Market Street, from 22nd to 30th streets.

But when the bandit burglarized the accounting offices of Milligan and Company, LLC, on 22nd Street near Arch, on March 27, police said, he stared directly at an office security camera as he made off with several laptops.

Police said he showed up on tape in the building several days later, once again walking off with about four laptops.

Investigators said they hope the clear images will quickly lead them to the not-so-brilliant bandit. The burglaries have occurred after the businesses had closed for the day. Cops said the crook uses a slim-jim device to break the locks on double glass doors.

Tipsters can contact detectives at 215-686-3093. *