Tim Copeland owns All Seasons Maintenance landscape company. He designed, and he and his crew maintain, the landscaping at both Anderson Lock locations. This summer, he noticed a four-camera do-it-yourself CCTV system on sale in our showroom. Because there had been break-ins in his Des Plaines’ neighborhood, he purchased a kit, installed the four cameras, and set-up the DVR, using an old computer monitor to view the videos. He had installed the cameras to be a deterrent, as well as to record criminal activity. For the first couple of months, the most interesting activity recorded on the 500 GB tape was of skunks and possums in his backyard.
Then, on a recent Friday evening when Tim was looking forward to a relaxing night in front of his TV, the Des Plaines’ police knocked on his door, and said there had been a break-in and burglary across the street. The neighbors had told the policemen about Tim’s cameras. The officers asked if they could review any footage that might have been captured. Tim rewound the tape. The two officers narrated as they watched the recorded video. At about 11:40 that morning, a vehicle pulled into the neighbor’s driveway, the driver, a young man, got out and rang the doorbell. He waited, looked around and rang the bell again. Then he used a pry bar to open the door. He entered the home, exited once without carrying a bag, re-entered and came out with a dark colored bag filled with stolen goods. They compared the scenario to the “MO” (method of operation) of recent area crimes.
The police asked Tim if their technicians could make a copy of his videotape, then commented on the clarity of the images. They observed that a lot of the older cameras produce a blurry image that isn’t as useful for identifying suspects. And, even though the camera wasn’t focused on the house across the street, its wide angle lens captured enough of the activity to help identify the thief.
Tim also has a dog. His neighbor has a new door…and said that he is probably going to get a dog.
We think he should get a CCTV camera kit, too!