Burglars, take note: These days, you never know who might be watching you.
With home video camera systems cheaper than ever, buyers increasingly are looking to them as a way of keeping watch on the youngest and oldest members of their households. And the nannycams and grannycams are catching home-invading criminals in the act.
Last month, for example, a nannycam recorded an attacker breaking into a house in Millburn, N.J., and savagely beating a woman in front of her 3-year-old daughter; within a week, a suspect was arrested and charged with attempted murder, robbery, burglary and child endangerment.
And then, on July 12, a terrifying home invasion was caught on video as a Phoenix-area family was in the process of packing and moving their 93-year-old grandmother out of her home.
The grandmother's home was equipped with motion-activated video cameras that were used to monitor her safety. Hours after the family left that day, the surveillance cameras recorded what appear to be four teenage boys entering the home through the back door, pointing a gun into the grandmother's bedroom before entering, and rummaging through her belongings.
"If somebody would've been here, if my grandmother would've been here, God forbid what would've happened," the woman's granddaughter told ABC15, a local television station, asking that their names and pictures not be used out of fear of retaliation. "We don't want to see this happen to anyone else going forward."
The intruders reportedly took an iPad, an iPod docking station, a laptop and a few family heirlooms. The family hopes that someone can identify the suspects and help police bring them into custody.
Experts says that the market for home video surveillance is expanding rapidly, fueled by the growing adoption of home security services and the wider availability of low-cost, do-it-yourself systems. The U.S. electronic security industry generates more than $33.25 billion in revenues a year, according to Gold Book, a publication of Security Sales & Integration magazine.
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