More homeowners turning to surveillance cameras

Results mixed on effectiveness of cameras as crime deterrent


SAN ANTONIO – Investigators with the Bexar County Sheriff's Office are looking for two suspects responsible for a break-in last week at a home near Highway 281 and Borgfeld Road in north Bexar County.

Detectives know how many people they're looking for because the entire incident was captured by in-home surveillance cameras.

"It'll give a lead to start somewhere if the images of the people are captured," said KSAT Crime Analyst Eddie Gonzales.

Most businesses are equipped with surveillance cameras, but more homeowners are using the recording devices to protect their families and their property.

"You want to have more security than your neighbor. You want to make yourself less of a target than everyone else," said Steven Ballard, president of INET Security & Surveillance Products. "If your neighbor puts up cameras, then you need to put up cameras."

Frequent advancements in video and mobile technology mean all surveillance cameras are not created equal.

"An analog camera...only renders when converted to a .3 megapixel - 300,000 pixels," said Inet Manager Sean Parker. "Cameras now are 1.3 megapixel or higher. That's 1,300,000 pixels. So its 5 times the amount of data per area."

Some state-of-the-art cameras include their own processor, built-in memory storage, and general user interface.

"There are cameras that can tell the difference between a man and a vehicle, and actually send you a notification to your cell phone, or your email, a text that tells you someone just pulled into your driveway," Ballard said.

Results are mixed when measuring the effectiveness of cameras as a crime deterrent, but Gonzales said simply having them can make a difference.

"We're never going to stop burglaries what you want to do is make your house less desirable so they'll keep on moving," he said.