First crime solved using new security camera system

Today I got a great call from Oakland Police:
A photo of a car involved in a hit and run had been instrumental in solving the case.

The complete story:

About 3 weeks ago, a car parked on one of our streets was hit by a car.
After apologizing the driver took of without leaving the required
contact and insurance information. (This is a Hit and Run under California Vehicle
Code 20002(c) ) 2 of our neighbors who had witnessed the
episode, but had not been able to see the license of the hit and run driver.
They called the police, then they called me.

My wife and I were in Santa Cruz at the time, and they reached me on my
cell phone, The witness gave me an accurate description of the vehicle and
a 5 minute time window. After the build-in privacy delay had passed I was able
to remotely examine the pictures on our internet based server (in the
cloud) from Santa Cruz, and from the description pick a matching car that I sent via email to the witness. They confirmed that this was the car and showed the picture with a clearly visible license plate to the officer when he arrived at the scene.

Hit and Run driver fleeing the scene

Hit and Run driver fleeing the scene - Actual Criminal Caught on Camera - This photo solved the crime - Click to enlarge

By comparing the license plate with our list of trusted license plates I was able to determine that the car did not belong to a neighbor.

That same night I got the Police report number and I sent an
electronic high-resolution copy of the photo to my contacts at the
Oakland police.

This morning the investigating officer called me and said, that they
had located the driver using our photo of the vehicle and license
When confronted, the driver admitted to everything.

Police considers the case as solved, and tells me that the photo was the key piece of evidence. The victim is VERY happy with our neighborhood security camera solution.

In the 2 months since our system went officially online we have sent photos to
the police about 5 times, and now we have our 1st solved case. With 5:1 odds, we could not be happier.


2 thoughts on “First crime solved using new security camera system

  1. Hi – great info! We’re in the process of getting a security camera system installed in our east bay neighborhood and your site has been a wealth of information!

    You mention “build-in privacy delay” in this post. Can you please elaborate on this?

    • Hi DC,

      In our original implementation we had a 1 hour delay between the images being recorded and being available online for restricted access viewing by the designated crime group.
      While this was great from Privacy (some neighbors didn’t feel as exposed knowing that no-one in the crime group could know for sure when they were home alone) it was bad for fast response to a recent crime.

      Eventually it was abandoned for a near real-time system. (Few minutes delay)


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