Acrobatic Bears, a Home Invasion and More – Security News Roundup, Week of June 24

Blog_round-up-image-06282013In an especially fauna-centric security news roundup this week, we see bears caught on surveillance cameras, fish poachers brought to justice, feline movement tracking, and much more.

New Jersey Nanny Cam Catches Horrifying Home Invasion

In what may go down as some of the most shocking footage of the year, a Millburn, New Jersey nanny cam managed to capture a brutal home invasion video of a male intruder mercilessly beating a mother while her 3-year-old daughter watched. The video, embedded below, has gone viral since the Friday attack, and police are hoping the (incredibly clear) footage will help bring the suspect to justice.

Watch the video below:

Read more at The Huffington Post

Sydney Metro Department Installs GPS Nanotech to Catch Copper Thieves

In a strategy that seems almost futuristic, the department that oversees Sydney metro rail lines is installing tiny GPS trackers in copper cabling in an attempt to catch copper thieves who cost the municipality and operator hundreds of thousands of dollars due to railway disruption caused by malfunctioning relay wires. Thieves cut into cabling to steal copper that sells for hundreds of dollars, but the malfunctions that result cause delays for tens of thousands of morning commuters. Now, when thieves steal copper from the most vulnerable spots, they will also take a miniature GPS tracker with them. This will enable Metro to catch them and curtail interruptions for a fraction of what they were spending to send choppers into the air each night.

Read more at The Sydney Morning Herald

Hidden Camera Catches Dishonest Sales Tactic at Pennsylvania JC Penny Stores

Hidden cameras installed in a few Pennsylvania malls captured a dishonest new tactic by employees at JC Penney department stores. When nobody but employees and the hidden cams were around to see, JC Penny staffers covered items’ old price tags with new stickers displaying a higher price. Then stores would advertise a sale, offering 20% off, for example, returning the price to where it was originally. The news station that planted the hidden cameras exposed the “sales.” Though perfectly legal, this tactic has proved to be extremely unpopular with customers.

Read more and watch video at WNEP

Fish Poachers Busted in New Zealand

A presumed spike in fish poaching put pressure on Fish and Game Department officers in the Eastern region of New Zealand as fish populations began to suffer. In response, officers installed simple hidden cameras around natural trout fisheries to stop poachers that were adversely impacting the local economy and putting future spawning seasons at risk. They captured dozens of clear images of poachers and took them to local law enforcement to track down the guilty culprits and bring them to justice, which can include fines of up to $10,000 and a year in prison.

Read more at The New Zealand Herald

Florida Bank Uses Hidden Cameras to Catch ATM Skimmer

ATMs are often targeted by criminals who install hidden cameras and card skimmers to capture the data stored on ATM cards’ magnetic strips and obtain cardholders’ PIN numbers. ATM skimmers are inconspicuous, making the crime difficult to detect. A Florida bank was lucky enough to identify such a skimmer, so they set up their own hidden cameras and collaborated with local law enforcement to capture the thief. When he returned to collect the skimmer, the camera, and all the data they contained, police monitoring a live feed from the area easily arrested the intending thief. The man faces charges of identity theft and fraud.

Read more at the Sun-Sentinel

GPS to Keep Indian Police Honest

Senior officers in Ludhiana, India, have begun using GPS to track all deployed police officers in order to discourage absenteeism, neglecting duties, and to improve service quality. The main target is PCR officers, whose primary responsibility is to wait in their vehicles at pre-determined, static points in order to respond quickly to help curb crime and assist after accidents. This type of officer had been the subject of multiple complaints that basically amounted to them shirking responsibilities in order to relax. With constant GPS oversight, the hope is that they will be more likely to meet their responsibilities.

Read more at The Times of India

Surveillance Camera Catches Acrobatic Bear Climbing Fence

An Ohio company’s security cam captured footage of a black bear climbing a fence that surrounds its parking lot. The footage shows the bear easily climbing the fence, intended to keep people from straying onto nearby railroad tracks, and then lithely descending via a nearby light pole. Its entrance into the parking lot was followed by numerous other sightings in populated metropolitan areas, posing a significant safety risk.

Watch the Video Below:

Read more at News Net 5

Wireless, Noise-activated Recording Devices Deployed to Fight Illegal Logging

Initially planned for launch in the rainforests of Indonesia, a project by a conservancy group called Rainforest Connection will use solar-powered cell phones to crack down on illegal logging operations. Used Android phones will be converted into noise-activated audio transmitters to monitor for unnatural sounds like chainsaws, which can carry up to 500 meters. When they detect such a sound, they send a signal to a central system and trigger an online alert in real time. The hope is that making this information available online to anyone will lead to a crowd-sourced solution to illegal tree poaching.

Read more at Energy Matters

Elementary Student Makes Hidden Camera Documentary of School Nutrition

An 11-year-old New York City elementary school student decided to document the quality of school lunches, and over the course of a year, he did so using hidden cameras and the camera on his cell phone. The documentary he produced, “Yuck: A 4th Grader’s Documentary About School Lunch,” has been aired at film festivals and given him more than 15 minutes of fame. He used hidden cameras to juxtapose what menus at school describe with what was actually served, and point out how difficult it is to eat healthily with school lunches.

Read more at ABC News

Cleveland School District to Outfit Buses with GPS

Yet another school system has decided to invest in GPS for its public school buses, this time to the tune of $86,000. The system will provide information to interested parents so they can track their children’s schedules, as well as to improve bus efficiency, cut down on fuel waste, and reduce idling time based on a better understanding of daily patterns. The district also expressed the belief that with the ability to find any bus immediately they could respond more quickly to any problems like breakdowns or other emergencies.

Read more at the Gaston Gazette

GPS Collars Reveal Stunning Cheetah Acceleration

New information on the world’s fastest land animal, obtained using GPS trackers, suggests that while cheetahs can achieve ground speeds of nearly 60 mph, they rarely do. Instead, they rely on rapidly accelerating from a trot to speeds of 30 to 35 mph while rapidly and frequently changing direction. This GPS data showed that these animals can increase their speed by seven mph in a single stride, and their paws must be so strong to support this acceleration that they often rip up the ground when they quickly change speeds. In feline other news, UK scientists have used shrunk-down GPS trackers to monitor the comings and goings of house cats; check that story out here.

Read more at the BBC

About the author  ⁄ BrickHouse Security

BrickHouse Security is the industry's premier supplier of security and surveillance solutions. As a recognized authority in GPS tracking, hidden cameras, employee monitoring and compliance, video surveillance and counter surveillance, we help our customers use technology to get the clarity they need. We proudly serve consumers, businesses of all sizes and the law enforcement community. When you need to know, BrickHouse has the answers.