Posted April 19, 2004
||FloodCams Catch the Vandals|
We were having serious problems in our neighborhood: landscape lighting being vandalized and stolen, mailboxes being kicked over, damage to vehicles. I had confronted several of the parents of the children that I had actually seen doing these things and none of the parents would do anything about their children’s behavior. Mostly all they told me was that they had talked to their children and the kids said they didn’t know anything about it.
Our street was once only lit at night by the streetlights, but now everyone was leaving the lights on their porches and the fronts of their garages on all night. Many of us were adding motion detector lights. We were tired of being vandalized
During a search for lighting, I stumbled across X10 and the FloodCams. The day I looked at X10’s web site there was a three Flood Cam deal being offered. After reading all the information I could find on the web site and checking other searches about X10, I ordered the three Flood Cam deal.
I put one FloodCam on the front of my house to watch my cars, and one on the side of my house pointed to the street to catch everything else. The angles worked out perfectly, as I had a complete view of the front yard and into the street from one side of my property line to the other. The third one went into the backyard and captured the rear fence line.
About three weeks after installation, I got actual video of vandalism. About 10pm I rewound the tape in my VCR to see what had been going on during the day. There, clear as if I was watching the action live, was one of my neighbor's sons in his backyard hanging over my privacy fence shooting my landscape lighting. I went outside and looked at my lighting. Sure enough, four of my lights were damaged or completely destroyed by BB holes, and there were numerous BB’s lying around in my flowerbed.
I went back inside my house and continued to watch the video. This time one of the boys from up the street was walking across my neighbor's yard, looked around, then ran up to the side of my house and kicked out several of my landscape lights, then picked up the pieces of one and bounced it off the windshield of my SUV. This was too much, so I called the police and filed a report.
Oddly enough, three days after that, I was watching the day’s events and nothing was happening so I stopped the tape and immediately Flood Cam number one kicked on my new VCR Commander II and started the VCR recording. I was suddenly watching the girlfriend of the boy across the street backing her SUV over my mailbox.
At first I thought these security cameras were an expensive reaction to the things going on around here, and they certainly stretched my budget, but as it turns out these cameras have been the best $199.99 I ever spent. When I totaled everything up, I found that the cameras were actually $400 cheaper than the damage done to my SUV, landscape lighting, and yard in the past year. Not to mention, repairing fireworks damage and football dents to my SUV, new lighting, new sod to patch the torn up areas, window panes, and so on.
I was so happy with the X10 FloodCams that I bought a complete security alarm system the following month. I have added to that since, expanding it to use all 16 sensor zones, and plan to buy two more flood cams and miscellaneous odds and ends to enhance both security camera systems. We used to be apprehensive about leaving our house empty when we went to the movies or the store. Now we can all go out together and stay out as long as we like knowing our property is being watched over by our security system and our cameras. It's a good feeling.
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