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Old 09-02-2015, 10:07 AM   #1
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catching theives

So down at our lake lot where we leave our campers, there is a group of meth-heads living full time 2 streets over. Theft is an occasional problem down there, but usually its not terrible. But lately, things on our side of the lake are getting stolen with regularity. I think someone in that group lost whatever menial job they had, and they are getting desperate. We all pretty much know who is doing it, but as Denzel Washington said: "It's not what you know, it's what you can prove"

Of course, we keep our campers locked up, but its pretty easy to break into a camper if you really wanted to. My across the street neighbor spent the week down there on vacation and said that he seen one of the chicks from that group nosing around on my lot, looking up under the front of my buddies 5'ver. They are after anything with value that can be carried away, and they seem to like propane tanks.

So I have ordered 2 game cameras to keep an eye on my lot. After much research, I selected Stealth Cam G42NG as they are pretty highly regarded, and have a completely black (to humans) infrared flash. I even got two camo steel enclosures to house them, as I think if they saw them they would steal them too. I've picked out locations where I can put them that will see the half of our lots where we keep our stuff. I should be able to see everything we own, plus each camera will see the other.

I really don't want anything stolen, but I'm an kinda hoping these a-holes try something. I would love to get them busted and booted out of the community. I'll have them up and running this weekend. It'll be interesting to see what they capture (animals, humans, aliens, ect) going across our lots.

Tim
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:22 AM   #2
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I use game cameras for hunting but us hunters also have to deal with thieves stealing the cameras, treestands, blinds etc. As far as them stealing the cameras....can you put one up high enough that you can only reach it with a ladder? That is something I know some hunters do to catch a thief. Keep one low and if they try to steal it, have the one up high where it will get a pic of it.
Good luck.
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:28 AM   #3
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The problem I see with that is, even if you catch them, report them to the police and show them the video/pictures as evidence it won't be enough to have them locked up. Those kind of criminals have more rights nowadays than us law abiding citizens do . I'm not saying you should take the law into your own hands but maybe motion activated lights and sirens (I didn't say doberman or two ) would be a good way to keep them out. Those buggers more than likely carry guns and have nothing to lose.
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:42 AM   #4
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It may also be illegal to video them without permission, best to check with your local PD...
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Old 09-02-2015, 11:00 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Cypressloser View Post
The problem I see with that is, even if you catch them, report them to the police and show them the video/pictures as evidence it won't be enough to have them locked up. Those kind of criminals have more rights nowadays than us law abiding citizens do . I'm not saying you should take the law into your own hands but maybe motion activated lights and sirens (I didn't say doberman or two ) would be a good way to keep them out. Those buggers more than likely carry guns and have nothing to lose.
I'm sure they don't have any guns. If they did, they would have sold them long ago for drugs.

Without going too much into the politics of criminal rights and your exaggeration thereof... it's kinda hard to argue with a picture of them carrying away my stuff. I can assure you that would indeed be enough evidence for an arrest and most likely a conviction. It would certainly be enough for a search warrant on their premises. And at the very least, would be better than no picture at all, and give me enough reason to go over and kick seven different kinds of dog crap outta the little tweakers.

On the practical side, Cops aren't stupid. I know enough of them. They know exactly who is doing what in their area. When my truck was stolen a couple years ago, even before it was recovered the Under-sheriff told me they knew who did it. He told me this guy was well known to them, and he steals trucks a few times a year. When I asked why he never arrested him, they said that they can never place him at the scene of the crime. One picture from a camera showing him even looking into my truck would have been enough to arrest him on the spot.

But even lacking legal action, I'll be happy with enough proof to take to the trustees of the community. They will revoke their access and that will pretty much eliminate the problem. Simply scaring them away will not solve anything.


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It may also be illegal to video them without permission, best to check with your local PD...
As someone who's into photography, I have researched photography rights in the past. You are free to video or photograph whomever you want on your property with or without their knowledge or permission. In public areas, the general rule of thumb is "if you can see it, you can photograph it". You can even photograph something on private property if you are in a public area, as long as there is no expectation of privacy (i.e. you can photograph your neighbors front yard from a public road, you cannot use a telephoto lens to shoot thru their living room window). You can take pictures on private property that is open to the pubic (a restaurant) unless specifically prohibited. You are not allowed to photograph things without permission while you are on private property.

Tim
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Old 09-02-2015, 11:09 AM   #6
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Tim,
I'm a full-time professional photographer. I hold certifications from both PPA and WPPI. The laws vary depending on jurisdiction and local ordinance. You can photograph on your own property, and yes, generally in public because there is no "Expectation of Privacy"; however, even if you photograph you can't necessarily use the image and depending on your state's wire tapping laws even use clear cut images for any purpose other than personal enjoyment. This issue is discussed ad-naseum in the professional groups to which I belong, there is never a clear answer.
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Old 09-02-2015, 11:19 AM   #7
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If you have AC power in the camper, you might consider a SimpliSafe alarm system. Easy do it yourself install and has a self contained data type cell phone that alerts the alarm company. They will call you, and/or the police. Could give you some peace of mind. You can monitor it's status on your phone or PC.
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Old 09-02-2015, 11:21 AM   #8
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Tim,
I'm a full-time professional photographer. I hold certifications from both PPA and WPPI. The laws vary depending on jurisdiction and local ordinance. You can photograph on your own property, and yes, generally in public because there is no "Expectation of Privacy"; however, even if you photograph you can't necessarily use the image and depending on your state's wire tapping laws even use clear cut images for any purpose other than personal enjoyment. This issue is discussed ad-naseum in the professional groups to which I belong, there is never a clear answer.
Surveillance laws are a bit different from the laws for general photography. A pretty good synopsis is here:

Resources - Video Surveillance Laws Listed by State

The tricky part come into shooting video with audio. Some states have a one-party or two-party rule on recording conversations. However, I will only shoot stills. No recording of video or audio. I am well within my rights to do so on my property for the purpose of security or surveillance. I might not be able to use footage of any non-criminal activity i manage to capture, but criminal activity footage is usable for prosecution or civil lawsuits.

Tim
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Old 09-02-2015, 11:26 AM   #9
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Depends how good a lawyer you retain. Later RJD
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:45 PM   #10
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As someone who's into photography, I have researched photography rights in the past. You are free to video or photograph whomever you want on your property with or without their knowledge or permission. In public areas, the general rule of thumb is "if you can see it, you can photograph it". You can even photograph something on private property if you are in a public area, as long as there is no expectation of privacy (i.e. you can photograph your neighbors front yard from a public road, you cannot use a telephoto lens to shoot thru their living room window). You can take pictures on private property that is open to the pubic (a restaurant) unless specifically prohibited. You are not allowed to photograph things without permission while you are on private property.

Tim

Tim: Having been a newspaper managing editor for several decades, I can say that what you describe is exactly the guidelines followed by newspapers everywhere. Not only that, but photos taken under the circumstances you describe are actually published in newspapers every day. Also, there are no special rights for newspapers. What they are allowed to do is allowable for any citizen.

Just don't use those photos for commercial purposes without permission.
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