Covert Camera Installation Advice Requested

I don't really get into covert surveillance but I had a referral to check out potential surveillance in a medical office. Some money has come up missing out of two purses that were located in the owner's respective offices. It is a smaller practice so there aren't many possibilities as to whom the thief is. The owner doesn't want to draw conclusions without proof and wants to use a covert camera in the office and try and catch this employee.

I have read most of the reports I could find and some have said they mounted the cameras in AP network devices. The issue is there isn't a good spot to place a camera because I don't want to introduce anything new to the environment. The other issue is that the networking equipment is in this office so I can't place new equipment there. The office is part of a larger building and there is a nearby shared communications room that I could probably place any equipment there. The ceilings are only 8'.

Since they have mentioned that they want something temporary and once they catch the employee they would remove the equipment. I mentioned I generally don't rent or lease equipment but then they said they just don't want to throw the equipment away and have it go to a landfill. There is a loudspeaker in the ceiling that isn't really used in one of the offices. My thought was to try and hide it behind the grill. I haven't tried it, so I'm not sure how well it would work. The grill is an older style metal grill with slightly larger holes. Angle of view does become a concern though. The other office has a grill that wouldn't work without making a hole in it. To keep cost down, I was going to try and focus on one office instead of both.

Should I go IP or CVI? I was looking at the Axis pinhole options and either using the Axis software on the owner's computer and an SD card or perhaps Spectrum on that PC with either an internal or external hard drive added to gain retention time. The owner was going to place money to be taken so retention may not be as necessary if they are monitoring the cash.

I know there are many covert cameras on the market with built in recording, but my concern is playback and not needing to touch the camera. I also want to not install or introduce anything new to the environment that would be noticed.

Thanks for any advice.

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