Jan 2023 snapshot: 5 Cases where CCTV helped fight crime
CCTV systems are not just a home decoration. Even though you never want to be robbed, it would be good to see that they actually work how they are supposed to and claimed to. For this purpose, we’ve compiled some prominent cases across New Zealand during the month of January where CCTV has proven useful in solving a crime and serving justice.
In these cases, the CCTV helped with fast response time, or with identifying the perpetrators – something we write about non stop. Let’s dive into it.
Stolen Dedit Card
Sarah Wardle of Auckland had her debit card stolen from a liquor store. She had dropped her wallet and her card had fell out without her noticing. Upon returning home she realised it was missing, and the next day came back to the liquor store but couldn’t find the card there.
How CCTV helped the case
She spoke with the shop owner who inspected the CCTV footage with her to find out what may have happened. It turns out she had dropped two cards that fell out from her wallet. Not very long after at all, a man had picked them up.
The CCTV footage showed him walking out of the store with the cards after paying for his beer. It showed a work truck with two other men, one of whom he handed the card to, before driving off.
The footage managed to catch the truck’s license plate and had decent images of the thief himself. Her bank ended up refunding her the money stolen by the thief.
Bar and Restaurant intruder
This case is slightly humorous and it demonstrates the fast response time you can achieve by using a CCTV and alarm security system. A Bar/Restaurant in Christchurch was broken into in the early hours of the morning. A silent alarm had gone off shortly after, alerting security and police.
The man had broken in through a window. He was still attempting to open the safe when police began to get there. The intruder made his way into the chiller room which had no exits. He took the way out through the roof space, breaking into the ceiling.
How did CCTV help?
Besides the silent alarm going off and providing a very fast response time, CCTV was instrumental to this case. The shop owner could see on the CCTV footage that he had not yet left the shop when they and the police arrived. By sticking around, they managed to catch the burglar when he ended up collapsing the ceiling and falling onto the floor.
Vape shop intruder
During the late January floods that devastated parts of Auckland, some people took the opportunity to loot shops. Due to the evacuation, many businesses and homes were left totally empty, meaning it was easy pickings for anyone with a mind to steal. One vape shop in West Auckland was targeted and the police managed to apprehend the burglar quickly.
How did CCTV help this case?
The owner of one vape shop was remote monitoring his store’s CCTV feed. In real time he was able to see how someone went into his shop to loot. Instantly he alerted the police and they responded and caught the burglar. The quick response time enabled by the store owner remotely watching his camera footage was instrumental to apprehend the looter.
In the Wellington neighbourhoods of Lyall Bay and Melrose, police noticed a spike in residential burglaries over a short period. Smaller items such as laptops, jewellery, and game consoles were some of those stolen, amongst others. Police ended up identifying and arresting the perpetrator with the aid of CCTV.
How did CCTV help?
Many homes in these areas had CCTV systems installed and they were able to provide footage to the police. The CCTV footage was able to establish the appearance of the burglar, the police article writing that the footage “significantly assisted in the identification of the alleged offender,” leading to his arrest.
Fuel card thieves
A businessowner in Christchurch had $23,000 worth of fuel stolen from his fuel cards. It’s believed the fuel card was stolen from inside a parked truck belonging to the business. And in only two weeks, the thieves managed to steal $23,993.93 worth of fuel. The police were initially helpful but it became clear this case was not a high priority which frustrated the business owner.
How CCTV helped the case
The businessowner had to turn to his own means to get the investigation going. He collected a lot of CCTV footage from petrol stations showing some men using the fuel cards and buying large amounts of fuel. The footage shows them filling up not only vehicles but also big drums of petrol.
His careful analysis of the security camera footage led to him identifying two vans used by the thieves, which police ended up seizing.
As you’ve seen through all these cases, security cameras have done their job. Remote monitored CCTV and alarm systems enabled fast response times and helped police identify suspects in crimes committed. Get yourself protected so you too can have solid evidence helping you.