CBS Chicago interviewed the President of the U-Spy Store concerning the value of placing security cameras at the front door of your residence or business. The interview took place on Friday, December 30, 2016, and aired on January 3, 2017, at the Chicago U-Spy Store location at 2406 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60647.
A young father, wondering why his toddler behaved perfectly around the babysitter but no one else, learned the reason was fear. The man, from Joliet, set up a hidden camera to capture the sitter’s interaction with the child later watched in shock as the woman–a family friend–used physical force to keep the child in tow. According to NBC Chicago, the father, Paul Carlos, stated, “It was the most amazing thing I ever saw in my life. It was horrible.”
The camera, disguised as a clock radio, was triggered by a motion sensor. The sitter was caught beating the 2-year-old boy because she couldn’t find the TV remote control. The sitter, Erin Denny, actually lived with Carlos’s mother. She’s been arrested and jailed on felony aggravated batter charges and parole violation.
When Carlos went to work each day, he would drop his son off at his mom’s house on the way to work. Denny would watch the boy. Carlos installed the hidden camera because he thought it was strange that the boy listened to the sitter, but didn’t listen to anyone else.
It was out of fear.
Hidden cameras, or “nanny cams” have been employed to catch suspected cases of babysitter abuse, theft, and other criminal activities. Some, like the one used by Mr. Carlos, capture video footage for later viewing. Others provide real-time footage that can be accessed from any computer–even while a parent is working.
In Springfield, Mass., police announced that 13 people had been caught dumping household trash and furniture in a wooded area near town. The alleged illegal dumpers were recorded by hidden camera detectors placed near the area in an investigation that included aid from both state, and local officials. This, according to the Springfield Republican. Continue reading
Technology makes our lives easier, or at least it’s supposed to; yet, as our understanding improves and complicated processes, such as computer programming, become more user-friendly, some decide to use these innovations to prey upon others.
ATM skimming-devices, for instance, have evolved from clunky, obvious pieces of fake auto-bank teller equipment to sleek, undetectable theft devices that are unnoticeable to untrained eyes. As the equipment becomes better, the criminals grow in sophistication, often stealing hundreds of thousands in others’ money before being discovered. Continue reading
The Chicago Police Department, and retiring Mayor Daley, want to take Chicago’s surveillance system to the highway. The ambitious plan, announced earlier this year, is to install some 200 cameras along interstate highways between Chicago and Mexico. The camera’s function is to take pictures of license plates and cross-reference them to known images of smuggler, drug traffickers, and gun runners. Continue reading
Going to the dentist isn’t something that we usually scrutinize to ensure our chosen practitioner has the necessary schooling and degrees that prove he’s a dentist. Usually, we opt for doctors or dentists who are recommended by our social circle, or, more likely, the ones covered by an insurance plan. Usually, the expectation is that they’re qualified; after all, masquerading as a dentist wouldn’t be the easiest scam to perpetrate.
Romanian citizen Razvan Apostal, staying in Queens on a Visa was arrested near Rye Brook, NY, last month for using an ATM “skimmer” to steal personal ATM card information. He also installed video surveillance cameras above ATM machines in order to steal Personal Identification Numbers (PINs).
An ATM skimming device, or skimmer, is a device that covers the ATM card slot that reads the information on the magnetic card strip, plus, depending on the device, may record the PIN as well. For less-sophisticated skimmers, a camera can be installed to capture the PIN.
Depending on the ATM, and the crook’s knowledge of their workings, skimmers can be absurdly obvious or nearly impossible to detect.
The 31-year-old’s crimes were brought to light after a banking customer notified Chase Bank that an additional security camera had been installed above the ATM machines, allegedly aimed at the user interface portion of the machine. Chase Bank authorities notified local police. After viewing surveillance footage on the camera, Mr. Apostal was identified as the suspect.
A week later, another local ATM was found with a camera installed in the same general location.
Police searched for–then arrested–Apostal for placing a skimming device, the cameras, and a mirror at several local area ATMs. When arrested, he had the skimming device in his possession. Police discovered counterfeit $100 bills when a search of the man’s property was initiated.
Apostal is in jail awaiting trial. He’s being charged for eight counts criminal possession of forged instruments and one count of unlawful possession of a skimming device.
A woman in Coventry was caught via surveillance cameras dropping her cat into a trash bin. The woman was seen carrying and petting a cat–named Lola–before stopping in front of the trash can. She lifts the lid, drops the cat inside, and walks away.
The matter is under investigation by England animal rights group, RSPCA. Continue reading
A 54-year-old Marion County, Florida man was arrested after a tip led authorities to a hidden camera containing over 300 images of people using his bathroom, officials claimed on Monday.
Edward John Phillips, age 54, of Reddick, FL, faces two counts of voyeurism using a video camera; one of the counts is juvenile voyeurism due to images that depict a person under the age of sixteen. Police claim that Phillips used a video game camera that is designed to take pictures when movement is detected. The camera was hidden inside a bathroom closet facing the toilet. Continue reading
A recent rash of New Hampshire thefts caused police to investigate and warn the public not to leave valuable items inside vehicles parked in the state’s national park areas–especially at trail heads. U.S. Forest Service agents also cautioned visitors to lock their cars.
A recent investigation was launched after thieves smashed car windows to get into vehicles, stealing electronics and cash.
Unfortunately for the unwitting criminals, police were able to track down them down within hours due to quick action stemming from a victim’s GPS application on his cell phone. Most of these smash-and-grab type cases go unsolved, especially due to the remote locations, time delay between the crime and report, and absence of witnesses to the crime.
In this case, the victim went to the State Trooper barracks and borrowed a police computer to track the location of his Smartphone; the phone was in a nearby community, and appeared to be with someone walking.
State Law Enforcement officers called the community’s police department, who dispatched officer to the area; the officer spotted a group of juveniles outside the residential area. A local Forest Service special agent also assisted, helping police determine four teens as the likely suspects. Police recovered the majority of property and the teens eventually confessed they’d participated in the crime spree, or were guilty of receiving stolen goods.
While the case remains under investigation, police expect charges to be filed shortly. Ah, technology!