First up, we have the case of Richard Boudreaux accused of burglarizing his former employer’s place of business. Realizing that he’d arrived at Kenney’s Seafood in Louisiana without a mask to conceal his identity, Boudreaux placed a bucket found at the scene over his head, instead. He may have only been able to
steal a few hundred dollars, but, despite the bucket, surveillance cameras were the real heroes as they stole a glimpse of his face, which led to him being arrested at his home not long afterwards.
In Lake County, Montana, one Robert Taylor was recently arrested for burglarizing Western Building Center. Luckily, WBC had surveillance cameras installed and images shared in news reports helped citizens identify Taylor as a likely suspect in the crime. This information also helped in solving an attempted burglary crime at nearby St. Joseph’s Medical Center since a further investigation of the videotaped burglary at Western Building Center matched surveillance footage showing Taylor trying to enter a locked area of that hospital.
A New Jersey couple became famous on YouTube when police posted surveillance video of them on the popular video-sharing website. Unfortunately, for Ahmet Islami and Marjorie Alva, the footage shared was of them canvassing a neighborhood where they are accused of breaking into a couple of homes. As we’ve reported here many times, burglars will often pose as salespeople or regular joe-blow citizens as they knock on a front door to find out if anyone is at home during the daytime (which is when a vast majority of burglaries occur). Well, the couple approached one home under the guise of wanting to retrieve a football from the owner’s backyard.
Sound innocent enough? Well, not so much. See, prior to the homeowner opening the door, his surveillance camera captured footage of Islami peering through the window and…get this…trying the doorknob! When others in the neighborhood cited similar incidents with the couple, it wasn’t hard for police to figure out who the culprits were. Posting the footage online helped them place names with the faces and the two were arrested shortly thereafter.
He Ran, But Couldn’t Hide
In Sierra Vista, Arizona, Michael Dale Arends was arrested after surveillance footage helped identify a car he’s accused of using in several burglaries. Police had identified the vehicle once before, but Arends managed to evade capture at that time. As he soon learned, however, the police are pretty diligent in these matters and eventually they were able to catch up with him again. In between their first attempt and the second, officers were granted a search warrant for Arends’ home where they found all of the evidence needed to connect him with multiple burglaries and other crimes. Eventually, they nabbed Arends who now faces a string of charges ranging from burglary to drug possession to being delinquent on his child support payments.
From Hard Drive to Hard Time
Now, in a lot of cases a criminal will avoid committing crimes in plain view of a surveillance camera. As we’ve shared many times before, even a fake video camera can be enough to deter a burglary. Some thieves are just plain hard-headed though (or too high to think straight) and will proceed with a burglary scheme despite a camera’s presence. Some will even try to destroy a camera, which is what happened with a trio of thieves broke into YouTube user FlashPitt’s home a few weeks ago.
Apparently, these thieves didn’t realize that a camera had recorded everything from them ringing the homeowner’s doorbell to eventually kicking his back door in. Upon realizing that they were starring in their own burglary production, the trio cut the wires to the surveillance camera and even poured bleach on it in an attempt to render it completely useless. While they did manage to short the electrical circuits, the camera’s hard-drive held up well enough for the footage to survive. After posting the video online, FlashPitt reports that two arrests have been made. The story doesn’t end there, though, as another YouTube commenter thanks FlashPitt for the video and informs that the same culprits are also accused of robbing her boyfriend’s home on the same night
for which they will also be tried.
Food For Thought
So, if you’re not sure whether a home surveillance camera is a necessary addition to your surveillance system, think again. Imagine how each of these criminals would have likely continued their crime sprees had they not been caught on tape. Gone are the days of needing a specialist to install a complicated video surveillance system as today’s state-of-the art cameras can be self-installed in a single afternoon. Really, there’s no excuse for anyone with an eye on security not to have one of these precious devices installed right away.