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
Jacob Stone was having some bad luck last week. His car was burglarized outside of a Seattle-area convenience store. The items stolen included high-end camera equipment and, of all things, his pants and a belt.
One of the store’s employees recognized the man who broke into Stone’s car as a man who had stolen items from the store previously during the week. Stone–obviously knowledgeable about photography and videography, retrieved copies of the store’s video surveillance footage and retrieved still images from the video footage.
Stone created “wanted” posters of the thief and the car he used to flee the scene and posted them around the neighborhood. Then, he went a step further and posted the flyers on Facebook. Anyone recognizing the now hunted man were given a dedicated Hotmail address so that they could submit tips.
In just a few days, he received the tip that local police used to nail the suspected shoplifter-cum-burglar. Someone in the area saw the man and emailed Stone. Stone called him back and later met with the tipster to give the man a reward of $250. Plus, he got his equipment back, although he had to remove the images that the thief had taken of random items, like scenery in Seattle, a dog, and the perpetrators messy bedroom.
Stone is thankful that his idea for using social media paid off, and appreciates everyone who helped him during the investigation. Stone will be much more careful where he leaves his car, and it’s our opinion that he should invest in some automotive security if he’s going to keep expensive equipment in his car. Just saying…
And you thought Facebook just kept tabs on your friends…
Securing a home is something with which most of us are familiar, even if we don’t own one. Security bars, electronic locks, home security systems, video cameras, and motion-sensor lighting are all tools that help deter crime. Too often, however, the focus is on the home’s living areas, leave a “weak link” in home security that’s easy to exploit. Continue reading
HELP! I Need to Record this Event on Video and all I Have is My Keychain!
Have you ever run into a situation where you needed to take a picture, or record an event on video, but didn’t have your camera with you?
Whether it is a Confrontation with a Neighbor, a Run In with the Police, a Sexual Harassment Situation, or just Good Times with Friends, there are many situations where a video camera can make all the difference.
U Spy Enterprises www.USpyStore.com is proud to bring you the Key Chain Camera. Continue reading