Cameras recently installed in Valentine Lot have reduced the number of vehicle break-ins, according to Director of Security Walter Mauldin. The cameras have been in use for two weeks and are helping UR Security investigate and prevent break-ins.
“These cameras have helped in the reduction of break-ins, but they have not been eliminated,” Mauldin said. “When there is a break-in, we can play back the digital video to find information on the car or people involved.” These images are then passed on to the Rochester Police Department who have been helpful in the investigations.
The break-ins have been mostly in 7-10-year-old cars and the items stolen are basic accessories lying around the car as well as stereo system and other parts that can be easily reused or sold.
In Monroe County, the number of vehicle break-ins has increased by 50 percent over the past two years.
Since UR has one of the highest concentration of cars in Rochester, Mauldin has been researching other ways to prevent these recurring break-ins. The lights in all campus parking lots have been looked at and recommendations for better lighting at night have been made.
“In Great Britain, signs are used when there are cameras present to simply inform people that the cameras are being used,” Mauldin said. “In the United States, the signs present when there are cameras in use are usually to warn people not to do anything wrong. We want to try to combine these.”
Over winter break, distinct signs are projected to be hung in each parking lot to inform people that the cameras are present as well as warning potential thieves that they are being watched.
“The cameras have also been used to track suspicious suspects,” Mauldin said. “For example, recently there was a man going door to door trying to meet girls. After he was reported, he was caught on camera at Eastman.”
Continuing, he said, “It is too soon to say how helpful these cameras have been, but we definitely have better information. They have helped spot break-ins before they would have been discovered by officers and victims. They have been worthwhile because every little thing counts.”
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