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Popularity of porch cameras social media sensation

December 22, 2018

This Christmas Season we’ve seen it over and over, home security video cameras recording theft of porch delivered packages. The cameras are now common place, we dove into our WRAL archive to see just what the cameras are recording.

The cameras can be digital detectives, helping police fight the proliferation of porch pirates.

“There are people who will follow the delivery truck around,” Cary Police Capt. Steve Wilkins told WRAL in an interview last week.

Reporter Kasey Cunningham talked with Virginia Quinn, a woman who’s camera recently captured someone stealing a package in broad daylight, “You can see how she walks up like nothing,” Quinn said as she viewed the video.

The videos are often shared on social media.

Quinn shared her video on Facebook, “12 hours later, we had a name, we had a confession.”

It’s not just thieves caught on camera. One camera recorded a curious bear, another shows a cougar peering in the window.

A camera in Kansas filmed the flames as Matt Bell’s house caught fire. He was able to watch it happen on his smart phone.

“I saw flames hit my trees and bushes and light on fire,” Bell said, “I assumed my house was going as well, and all I knew is my camera is broadcasting.”

And then there are those who embrace the camera for simply for stardom, a UPS driver dances for the camera after delivering boxes. The camera also captures the kindness of strangers, a man returns a wallet he found in the street out front of a Washington, D.C. home.

Wilkins hopes criminals are paying attention.

“Prevention is always more effective than trying to clean up a crime after it’s already happened,” Wilkins said.

Quinn perhaps put it best, “If you think no one is looking, they are.”

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