Two men, allegedly trying to steal surveillance cameras at San Bernardino’s Sierra High School one early morning, were foiled by the very cameras they were after. Both are now cooling their heels in jail, convicted of grand theft, burglary and trespassing.
The suspects were captured on high-definition video entering the school campus under cover of darkness just before 3:00 a.m. Video from IP-based cameras shows the suspects brought large plastic milk cases to use as a ladder to reach cameras that were recently installed on the ceilings and eaves of the school’s exterior.
What one suspect didn’t realize as he peered into the camera, an alarm had been triggered at the school police dispatch center – and a school police dispatcher was peering back at him. Officers with the San Bernardino City School District Police Department, responding to the call, were also able to see the live, high-definition video of the two suspects on the laptop computers in their squad cars. With that cutting edge technology, the suspects were easily apprehended, evidence was collected and the cameras were recovered.
The San Bernardino City Unified School District is in the process of completing the installation of its Intelligent Surveillance system throughout its 74 school campuses and administration buildings. SBCUSD Police Chief Joseph Paulino, who advocated the project, says every camera is a “force multiplier.” “With just 20 sworn officers and this system, we can keep students and faculty safe, and protect our property 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.”
Before the Intelligent Surveillance system was installed, the district was losing tens of thousands of dollars a month to theft and vandalism. Now, even before the entire system is in place, there have been 108 calls generated by the Intelligent Surveillance system. More recently, there have been 20 arrests for various crimes including theft and felony vandalism. The Intelligent Surveillance system is composed of several hundred IP-based PoE cameras, motion detectors, network video recorders, servers and interactive video walls.
Jeff Zukerman, executive vice president of business development with VectorUSA, helped create and design the system that includes fixed, pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ), and infrared cameras which send video to storage servers. “We designed a cost-effective, reliable and easy-to-use system that is scalable and cutting-edge.”
Chief Paulino says he’s more than pleased. “Our primary goal – the protection of students, employees, visitors and property – has been met and exceeded.”