Gayle Kiser has a house in Longview, Washington. Last summer Gayle set up a “game camera” at home, hoping to catch a picture of a wandering bear.
She never expected to catch a human being in her lens.
Game cameras are intended for capturing images of wildlife. They are motion-activated devices that use infra-red sensors to capture images, even in darkness. They are commonly used by wildlife enthusiasts and hunters. Lately, however, homeowners like Kiser are finding new uses for the simple devices.
After Ms. Kiser experienced several thefts in her home and backyard she turned to her wildlife camera and was surprised by the findings. One of the images on the camera’s memory cards showed a man in her driveway at 3 am. Suddenly, the recent disappearance of metal, a riding lawnmower, a generator and several chickens from her barn, seemed a little closer to having an explanation. Yet, unfortunately, the image was not clear enough to identify the trespasser.
Law enforcement authorities in Washington are encouraging home owners to use surveillance camera. Even a camera as simple as a “‘game camera” can help in gathering evidence against prowlers, metal thieves, and other unwelcome trespassers (while also take pictures of wildlife!). Despite several other incidents, in which game cameras were successfully used to scare off or gain details of tresspassers, police officials agree that these cameras have their limitations as a security or law enforcement tool.
Longview police Sgt. John Reeves says “Security cameras can be a great tool, but it comes down to whether or not it captures a good enough picture with detail to identify a suspect.”