More and more surveillance cameras

Thursday, August 15th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

It's not unusual for crimes to be caught on videotape anymore. In some places it would be unusual for parking lot cameras to miss something.

News on Six reporter Emory Bryan tells us, people are showing up on television security monitors, at work, and especially in stores.

When a customer steps into Wal-Mart, it's as if an actor stepped out on stage - plenty of eyes are watching. They're glass eyes on security cameras - watching customers from the moment they enter the parking lot. Signs make sure customers know.

Gina O'Neill with PAM Distributing: "They probably have up to 50 cameras in one Wal-Mart store. I think anyone knows now days when you go into a store, especially Wal-Mart, you're going to be recorded." Gina O'Neill sells video security systems - and says business is booming - mainly to prevent theft - but also to deter crime. "You've got your zoom lenses, they can actually read a license plate, they can see as far as you need to see."

There was a time when only the banks used cameras for security - but not anymore. Some cameras are obvious and some are not. Cameras come in sizes measured in millimeters - some can see in the dark - and stand up to a shotgun blast. And when they don't deter crime - they capture it.

Security cameras at Sears caught these criminals scamming an elderly couple. Videotape like this can help the police find a suspect - and then convict them in court. With stories like the one from Texas - of a kidnapped baby safe, thanks in part to security camera video - it's no wonder more businesses are installing cameras to protect themselves and their customer. "I think it makes people feel more comfortable these days to see what's going on and any business can do this."

Emory Bryan says cameras can be installed anywhere like daycares or even in homes by the front door and monitored through any TV.