Taking a cue from banks and businesses, more homeowners are hooking up home surveillance gear to scan property and catch crooks in the act, says the Sacramento Bee. Last week, Roseville, Ca., police released photos of two burglary suspects caught in the act. The man and woman allegedly broke into a residence. On home surveillance video, the suspects were seen using the homeowner’s own luggage to haul off laptop computers, jewelry, and clothing. A similar video helped Roseville investigators crack a car burglary case last summer. In that incident, police released a lengthy clip depicting a man and a woman ransacking a sport-utility vehicle.
“There seem to be more homes out there with home surveillance cameras,” said Officer Michelle Beattie, Folsom Police Department spokeswoman. “It is potentially a very valuable tool.” Homeowners may arm themselves with relatively low-cost systems – as little as a couple hundred dollars. The problem for police is that many photos taken by home surveillance cameras are of poor quality. If the picture is blurred or the camera is not mounted in a good position, the images are not of much use. Problem-oriented policing specialists officers noted that neighborhood watch groups can pool money and mount a surveillance camera in a strategic location. Businesses are hearing from more residents interested in installation of surveillance equipment, especially with the recent advances in “IP camera” – technology that can be hooked up to home computer systems.