Catch a Thief

we need to catch a thief.  we dont need a high-end security system... just something small... to watch & record 1 area

what are my options?
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zephyr_hex (Megan)DeveloperAsked:
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jabiiiCommented:
web cam. there are plenty of them.

Even a fake camera in plain site is enough to deter most thiefs
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giltjrCommented:
Do you want to catch them or just prevent future theft?  Next to jabiii fake camera put a big sign up, "Smile you we're watching you."
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jabiiiCommented:
lol nice touch
like qiltjr said great for detering.

but for cheap catching, hide a webcam somewhere out of site.  you can set them up to only capture motion, or continous feed etc etc.
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zephyr_hex (Megan)DeveloperAuthor Commented:
want to catch.  dont care about deterence.
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giltjrCommented:
You may want to check out local laws. Depending on where you put this webcam you may have to put up a public notice that the area is be monitored by a camera.

And it should have been "Simle we're watching you."  One day either my hands will speed up or my brain will slow down, but for now they are not running at the same speed.
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masnrockCommented:
Dlink makes some good enough cameras. Here's a link to models in their Securicam series... the DCS-3200 series is probably what's going to be most appropriate. (BTW - They don't play nice in with a wireless router set in mixed mode)

http://www.dlink.com/products/category.asp?cid=58&sec=2

People have already mentioned the policy side, so I'm giving you some of the technical side of things. Just need to install the software on a computer and have it set to monitor and record. Not too hard to set up.
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bthomasianCommented:
http://www.x10.com is a site that has focused on camera for security, I bought this for my last job to catch theives, and using a time lapse VCR. We submitted a few tapes to local PD this way.

Time Lapse VCR:
http://www.shopfromyourhome.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=timelapsevcrs

Other sources:

http://www.cctvwholesalers.com/catalog/

http://www.cctvspecialty.com/

http://www.palmvid.com/content/categories/dvrs/sub-categories/security-vcrs.html
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Rich RumbleSecurity SamuraiCommented:
Motion is a linux "motion detector", it looks for changes in the background/foregound and begins recording when it sees motion
http://sourceforge.net/projects/motion/  http://www.lavrsen.dk/twiki/bin/view/Motion/WebHome
There are lot's of this type of software for windows also, I think logitech webcams have the software with them on certain models to do just that, the QuickCam software i got with mine does.
http://www.uviewit.com/our-product.html

-rich
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FermionCommented:
Yeah, well, my 150lb. doberman which thinks the cash register is "mother" works very well.

All kidding aside... you definetly need a simple but effective time-lapse video monitoring solution as suggested above.
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zephyr_hex (Megan)DeveloperAuthor Commented:
thanks for the ideas
i got a creative laptop web cam (small).  includes motion detection software and scheduling capabilities.  then got a wild patterned kleenex box and hid the camera inside.  i've tested it out and it works great.

thanks for the ideas.  i thought i was going to have to hire a company or buy some expensive covert camera.  but i was able to do it myself for under $25.  YAY!
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