Home video surveillance can provide evidence that can help law enforcement officials solve crimes. According to St. Petersburg Times, in Pinellas County, Fla., deputies from the Sheriff's Office watched tape before arresting the individual who they believe fired shots into a Clearwater home, and video also helped police in Largo arrest someone who they believe stole prescription pain pills from an apartment.
"It's really very compelling when you go to trial to actually see the guy committing the crime, " says Larry McKinnon with the Tampa police.
Homeowners are increasingly turning to video surveillance, which is outpacing all other segments of the electronic security market in growth, according to Joe Freeman, president and founder of the national security consultant firm J.P. Freeman. Freeman expects the video surveillance market to grow to $21 billion over the next five years, while Dallas-based digital technology researcher Park Associates projects that the number of homes with security systems will grow by almost 30 percent by 2009. Home surveillance cameras can cost anywhere from $25 to $1,000, and they are easy to use.
"They have become so inexpensive that you can pick one up for 100 bucks, and the quality of the camera has been astounding," adds Sgt. Charles Degenhardt, who supervises Pinellas' burglary unit.