screenshot_05In Oregon City, Oregon, a man was caught on a store camera celebrating a winning lottery ticket that he had just purchased. This same man had just come from robbing some firefighters.

The man walked past a park where some firefighters were training and stole a wallet and three cases of special equipment from them, before walking into a grocery store and buying $75 worth of lottery tickets. The suspect then won $45 off the lottery ticket and is seen on the store’s surveillance footage dancing in celebration. He then left and used one of the firefighters credit cards to purchase two skateboards and a hat. Between the stolen merchandise and the emergency equipment, the thief made off with about $1000 worth of items.

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A Contract Security worker from Winfield Monitoring the Security feeds

Until recently, the Newark Public Housing Complex was a regular spot for drug dealers to do their business. The drug dealers would hold up a parking lot, customers would make a purchase and they would drive away. But police have made strides in reducing the crime thanks to the over 700 cameras that were recently installed on rooftops, poles and hallways.

The cameras are under 24/7 surveillance and keep a watchful eye on 10,000 city residents and 27 housing complexes. The surveillance systems have helped keep the drug dealers from making open air transactions as well as keeping crack junkies and prostitutes from using the local residences as a hang out. Along with the security cameras, the Housing Complex also taps into the New Jersey state police department to make regular rounds through the houses and the Winfield security company has also been hired to monitor the video cameras.

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Shirley's Honey Hole as Seen from Google Maps Street View

A bar in Baltimore named Shirley’s Honey Hole, has agreed to having surveillance cameras being installed both inside and outside their premises. These cameras will have a direct feed to the Baltimore Police department. The owner of the bar agreed to the cameras as part of a settlement deal to help keep her bar from being padlocked. She also must close the bar for a month to install the cameras, and she must hire a security guard for to have on premises. The police believe that the bar is a popular spot for drug dealing and also believe that some of the bars costumers have been linked to several recent shootings. By installing surveillance cameras with a live feed going to the police, they believe that bar patrons will feel more secure drinking at Shirley’s, and that ultimately this will be a crime deterrent.

The police have stated that this is still an experimental system and are not sure whether the cameras will stay in the bar indefinitely or if they will be removed after and certain amount of time. They are also unsure as to whether or not they are going to implement this same strategy in other establishments.

The owner of Shirley’s Honey Hole said that she will place two large signs up to let people know that they are being watched.

(Via The Baltimore Sun)


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koop-burglaryLindsay Lohan did it, Audrina Patridge did it, and now a couple from Atlanta is turning to YouTube to help find the criminals involved in the recent break-in of their home.

When the Koops were robbed last October, they posted the surveillance video detailing the crime on YouTube. The video shows three men kicking in the Koop’s front door and running out with the couple’s flat screen TV. Thanks to the surveillance video, the police were able to locate and arrests the burglars involved.

When the Koop’s home was broken into for a second time, they once again turned to YouTube for help. The newest video shows some men breaking into their home, grabbing an assortment of items, and making a fast getaway in a black SUV. The men were unaware of the fact that they were being watched and broadcasting to the Internet community.

Apparently YouTube is more than just silly homemade tapes and music videos, and has started to serve a serious security purpose. Only time will tell if YouTube will locate the criminals involved in the Koop’s home invasion.

(Via CBS Atlanta)



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lindsay-break-in-photoThe homes of both Lindsay Lohan and Audrina Patridge were recently broken into. Now both actresses are turning to the internet to help bring those who are responsible to justice. First, Patridge posted a surveillance video from her home security system onto her website for others to view. Then the LAPD went ahead and posted the surveillance video from Lohan’s house on Youtube in hopes that someone would recognize the perpetrators. With both of these videos on the internet, police were able to compare the two and as a result there are now suspicions that the burglaries may be related. The police believe that the people shown in Lohan’s security video and those shown in Patridge’s video are one and the same. Aside from possibly having the same suspects the two cases share other similarities.

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korean-grave-robberIn Korea, the ashes of famed actress Choi Jin-sil were stolen from their grave by what police believe to be a crazed fan. Police have released video footage taken by the graveyards security cameras which shows a short-haired, medium height man in his 40s wandered around the grave at 5:43-5:55AM on August 2nd. He was wearing camouflage pants, a short sleeved T-shirt and a gray vest.

The suspect was holding a large wooden stick and was seen in the video wandering around the grave occasionally measuring the grave where the ashes of the actress where held. After about 10 minutes of doing so, he left the scene, and that is when cameras were able to catch still images of his face. Police have already managed to match his face to another video of a man breaking into the grave with a hammer four nights later and stealing the ashes of the late Choi Jin-sil.

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lindsay-lohanActress Lindsay Lohan has had her home in Hollywood Hills Los Angeles, burglarized. It has been reported that besides a safe that had been ripped out of the wall, only a few watches were missing. The Los Angeles police have made no official arrest and are still investigating the house. Lindsey Lohan’s father Michael Lohan said he believed it was an “inside job” as the house alarm systems were left off the night of the robbery.

The celebrity news website TMZ also sited an unidentified source that stated three men were seen on the security cameras breaking into Lohan’s home. Luckily the actress was not home at the time and no one was hurt during the burglary. According to Diana Lohan, Lindsay’s mother, they discovered that the front door was off the hinges and that its handles had been removed.

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turtle2Turtles have a rough life. The last thing they need to worry about is some crazy idiot interrupting their well-earned peace and quiet and sticking them down their pants. For one poor turtle in Spring, Texas, being stuck down someone’s pants was more than just some crazy nightmare. Instead it became a strange, strange reality. Good thing there were surveillance cameras there to witness the scene.

On Wednesday, August 12, a thief targeting a pet store in Spring posed as a customer and searched the store before using a piece of metal to pry open one of the store cabinets, from where he then removed the fist-sized Indian Star Tortoise and shoved it into the left pocket of his jeans. He lucked out in not grabbing a snapping turtle. That would have been uncomfortable.

“We’ve been here twenty years and I’ve never had a customer shove a turtle in his pants,” said Sherry Stack, Pet City owner.

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supreme-courWhat is legal and not legal when it comes to surveillance? This is a question that is ill-defined in modern society, and its elements change every day as our technology becomes more and more advanced and our social norms adjust along with it. There is still a difference between a persons private and public life. But where is the line drawn?

As surveillance cameras have become more common with both private citizens and for the use of communities, the Supreme Court has taken the position that what a person exposes to the public is not constitutionally protected and that in public, visual forms of surveillance have almost complete carte blanche in recording people. Surveillance cameras have taken over our lives to the point that they’ve made the distinctions of public and private life somewhat nonexistent.

To make this idea explicit, there is no federal law that governs video surveillance by private citizens or organizations such as community safety coalitions and almost no federal law that covers police video surveillance.

“The courts have claimed that using a video and audio recorder by a citizen is protected by the First Amendment,” says Len Brown, a West Point graduate and an attorney with the Lancaster, PA law firm of Clymer & Musser.

State laws do not regulate videotaping. According to Clifford Fishman, a professor at Catholic University and a former New York district attorney, “The Justice Department likes the law the way it is, because it allows visual surveillance of public conduct.”

The law says that private citizens using video cameras must follow the same guidelines governing surveillance programs operated by municipalities. According to Fisherman, however, there are still many questions about the legality of what individuals personally film. While it may not be illegal if an individual their own or others property or individuals going about their daily business, a line can easily be crossed between which another person can see this surveillance and filming as a form of illegal harassment.

Says Brown, “There’s really nothing anyone can do, until someone finds out [the camera operators] are abusing the cameras.”

According to Brown, with no clear regulation and oversight of video surveillance, the potential for voyeurism and invasion of privacy becomes much larger. Although municipalities with surveillance programs are able to regulate their recordings, breaches are always a possibility.

Fishman suggests putting cameras only in areas where crime is prevalent, instead of simply saturating a city, in hopes of catching criminal activity.

Surveillance programs are growing number across the country. Camera technology is improving, and people are more likely to use camera surveillance to protect their home. As a society, we need to make decisions about how we will survey each other in public. It will go on to some extent. We just have to decide how far we actually want to go.

“Once the debate gets captured by the extremes on both sides, people in the middle just tune out, says Fishman.”

(Via Lanaster Online)

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081409beer2_20090813_22_00_21_4140-282-400Beer-chucking Chicago Cubs fan Johnny Macchione is now guilty of two misdemeanors after dousing Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino with a cold Bud Light. However, Macchione is even more guilty of being a coward after making an acquaintance originally take the fall for him.

The Bartlett native turned himself into police on Thursday after he couldn’t run away from the large collections of videos plastered all over the Internet identifying him as the despicable culprit.

“It was a big mistake. I’d like to apologize to Shane Victorino,” said the 21-year-old, who described himself as a lifelong Cubs fan. “It really is nothing against him. It was a mistake like I said.”

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