Technology

How Much Do Burglars Know About Wireless Security Cameras?

What do you do for a living? Whatever it is, you probably know a lot about the tools and technologies you use to do your work. It makes sense that professional burglars would have a similar understanding of their work environments. That leads to an interesting question: how much do burglars really know about wireless security cameras?

The question is prompted by a recent burglary that took place in Shoreline, Washington. A report from the local NBC affiliate says that the burglar’s face is clearly seen on video footage taken from the front porch of the house he burglarized. But interestingly, the camera did not seem to faze this individual. He walked right up to it and pulled it off the wall.

Images Stored in the Cloud

This particular burglar was being recorded by a wireless security camera designed to send the video images to the cloud. So even though he rendered the camera useless when he pulled it off the wall, the burglar still allowed the camera to capture his face in digital clarity.

This begs the question of whether or not he realized cloud storage was in play. Common sense dictates that he would know, given the nature of his business. But maybe he didn’t. Perhaps he just assumed that the camera only transmitted images without recording. He may have assumed that ripping the camera off the wall would be the end of the homeowner’s surveillance.

Helpful Clues for Police

The homeowner and his daughter both have access to video footage stored in the cloud. They have turned that video over to local police. Fortunately, though the burglars face was concealed from the nose down, the video footage still provides helpful clues for tracking him down.

For example, the burglar was wearing an easily identifiable sweatshirt. You can also clearly see that he has light colored eyes and a shaved head. It is a safe bet that distributing the images over social media would result in someone identifying the man.

Due to the nature of how the crime was pulled off, local police suspect the burglar had experience. There is no way to know how many burglaries he has successfully completed. But if he keeps doing things like walking up to security cameras and pulling them off the wall, it’s only a matter of time before he is caught.

Cloud Storage Is Important

The thing to remember here is that the video camera in question did not store footage locally. It was stored in a remote location, something Vivint Smart Home says is critically important in the age of wireless home security cameras.

Cloud storage preserves every bit of video surveillance that gets recorded. Even if a camera is damaged beyond use, any footage recorded prior to the damage is still accessible. You don’t always get that benefit from cameras that store data locally.

The other benefit of video surveillance in the cloud is having real-time access to camera feeds. In the case of the Shoreline, Washington burglary, the homeowner’s daughter was alerted to the burglary while in progress. Though she did not make it to her father’s home before the burglar escaped, she at least knew what was going on as it happened. That is better than not knowing until the end of the day, when dad gets home from work.

It’s hard to say how much burglars know about wireless security cameras. They may know exactly how wireless video technology works, including the concept of cloud-based storage. But one way or the other, no amount of knowledge prevents a video camera from doing what it does.

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