Real World CCTV / Surveillance Success

By: Benros Emata, Published on Aug 15, 2010

In this report, we find, review and share 50+ real world success stories using video surveillance. These are actual documented examples where crimes, murders, thefts and more have been recorded and used to help solve cases.

We have divided our coverage into 7 major examples, providing numerous examples for each:

  • Hospitality (Hotels / Motels)
  • Medical
  • Public (Municipal / City)
  • Restaurant
  • Retail
  • Schools
  • Transportation

In the video below, we overview our findings and approach:

  • Terrorist Attack in Taj hotel - During a November 2008 terrorist attack, footage shows how onsite staff resisted the terrorist until military officials arrived. In real-time, insight to a closed facility can help respondents determine a safer alternative to engage.
  • Princess Diana's hotel timeline - In November 2007, new footage provides investigators that 31 of 43 cameras in the Ritz hotel contain relevant footage prior to Princess Diana's fatal car crash. The driver had been suspected of being under the influence and the footage provides insight to the party's behavior.
  • Business & City Regulations - In March 2009, a city mayor suggests further regulations be enforced after reviewing footage of a late night brawl with security guards just outside of a hotel night club.
  • World Cup Murder - In April 2007, CCTV footage may prove a suspect innocent and investigators consider other avenues to inspect. "...another solution his killer was already staying on the same floor."
  • Hotel Assassination - Events of a high profile assassination are traced exclusively using CCTV footage from hotel cameras. Although the skilled assassins were not apprehended, video reveals accomplices and some details of the murderer to further investigate.
  • Infamous International Murder Recorded - In Spring 2010, Joran van der Sloot was caught on a Peru's surveillance system prior to the murder of a woman in his hotel room, providing key evidence in prosecution.

Medical

  • Home caregiver abuses elderly - In August 2007 reports a mindful daughter installs a home surveillance system to monitor her father's caregiver. Upon reviewing the footage she's able to charge the caregiver on numerous events of abuse and misconduct. Unfortunately, the suspect did not show up for the court hearing.

  • Woman dies in hospital waiting room -  In July 2008, an elderly woman falls out of her chair in an ER waiting room of a psych ward after 24 hours of waiting. Thereafter, further neglected by staff for over an hour where she lay and died.
  • CCTV Operators are first to react - In May 2008, operators monitoring the surveillance cameras witnessed a bloody man wandering a town centre. They were able to provide quick assessment and notify proper staff members of events. It was later determined that the man was assaulted and had no memory of the incident.
  • Woman loses baby in hospital waiting room - A case in July 2010 accuses a hospital of patient negligence as she lost her newborn while in the hospital waiting room. Footage proves otherwise, protecting the hospital and staff. 
  • Hospital thief - In May 2008, a pharmaceutical thief was apprehended while still on hospital grounds and immediately turned over to the local authorities.

Public:

  • Man Beaten in Street - In 2009, 2 assaliants viciously beat a man nearly to death. The only 'witness' was the surveillance cameras that helped lead to the arrest of the suspects.

  • Missing Persons - A murdered couple in the UK by an unknown assailant are visually tracked utilizing footage from the victim's workplace, the city bus, public streets and a last account from a building camera. Context is given in hopes to bear witness or leading information as the case is not solved.

  • Officer lies under oath - In August 2010, a police officer lies under oath to punching an off-duty soldier eight times and caught by city street cameras. The officer has been charged and now faces jail time.
  • Loitering & beating - In August 2010, pointed at a loitering area, the camera captures animal abuse in broad daylight. The teen now faces prosecution.
  • Grand Theft - In January 2010, suspects posing as parking officials steal the victim's car while at work. An exterior perimeter camera captures the perpetrators across the street. Without the footage, the victim would be completely disoriented and likely no witness to provide testimony from the quiet side street.
  • Falsely Accused - In April 2007, a convicted murderer holds a chance to clear his name when CCTV footage proves his whereabouts across multiple locations. The case is ongoing but defendants are confident.
  • Cameras Replacing Cops - In August 2010, cameras are being used to replace laid off police officers in a struggling economy. Already, an arrest has been made in a local killing.

Restaurants

  • Woman assaults McDonald's employees - During an early morning in August 2010, an enraged customer in a McDonald's drive-thru attacks an employee because they are not serving an item on the day menu - McNuggets. The woman was later sentenced to 60 days in jail and fines for damaged property. We manually configured the start time as the first minute does not provide significant activity.

  • Restaurant footage clues investigators -  In February 2010, footage obtained from a restaurant across the scene of a bomb blast provide investigators with two new potential suspects. Although the video is too grainy to even determine the color of the suspect's backpack, still provides more information that may otherwise not have existed [link no longer available].
  • Three arrested within 12 hours - In January 2010, three arrested assailants were involved in murdering a gangster. By apprehending the individuals, they testified up to 10 other accomplices and made possible initially by the footage obtained from the restobar.
  • Night club owner protected - In July 2009, a victorious celebration turns into a scuffle involving an England soccer star. CCTV cameras inside the club were able to capture moments leading up the event, countering the defendants claims that he felt threatened of an attack and ultimately protecting the club owner.
  • Chinese official assault 11 yr. old girl - In November 2008, a father confronts a Chinese official who allegedly assaulted his 11 year old daughter, forcing her into the men's restroom. Its not made clear in the report if the official was convicted of any charges but the entire event was captured by the CCTV cameras.

Retail

  • Pharmacist charged with murder after being robbed - In May 2009, two Oklahoma, an armed clerk fights back as two teens attempt to rob the pharmacy. The clerk shoots back, injuring one of the teens, flooring him and lay unconscious. After the accomplice fled the scene, the clerk proceeds to shoot the unconscious robber 6 timesand later charged for murder.
  • Puppies stolen from pet store - In July 2010, a thief stole 3 dogs [link no longer available] worth over $5,000 from a neighborhood pets store. While response to the burglar alarm failed, the surveillance video captured the perpertator's image.

  • Clerk fends off robbers and robber's accomplice charged with murder - A Fox news report shows two robbers involving a convenience store clerk turned tragic - for one of the thiefs. As the video proves, the accomplice shoots blind, accidentally hitting his partner in the stomach, dying shortly after fleeing the store. The accomplice is later charged with murder.
  • Mother uses 8 yr old daughter to shoplift - In July 2010, store cameras record a shoplifting scam carried out by a mother and using 8 year old daughter as the culprit. "The woman was spotted on security cameras removing security tags from a DVD player..." while she waited outside in the car with an accomplice.
  • Court clerk steals money paid from fines - In April 2009, a court clerk is found guilty as video evidence shows him pocketing cash paid from fines
  • Police officer caught stealing from the store he was assigned to protect - In November 2009, an officer was convicted for shoplifting from the store he was assigned to monitor and protect. The video clearly shows the police officer taking items from the store shelf and hiding them under his protective vest.
  • Stealing drugs from drug store - In August 2010, covert surveillance cameras [link no longer available] were used to prove Walgreen store employees were stealing durgs.
  • Stealing purse and husbands ashes - In August 2010, a woman's purse [link no longer available] that held a vial of her husban's ashes was stolen. The in-store surveillance video led to the arrests of 3 suspects.

Schools

  • Kid pulls loaded gun on school bus - In November 2009, a young student pulls a loaded handgun while boarded on the school bus as she claimed others bullied her. County school superintendent explains that after the cameras were installed, fights on buses decreased [link no longer available] and provided extensive evidence to support the girl's allegations. The girl was not charged as an adult.
  • Bus driver attacks school kids - In an attempt to discipline the young passengers, this driver literally takes them into his own hands and later prosecuted.
  • Teacher assaulted & robbed - In June 2008, an assaulted woman was robbed just as she was exiting her school gate. Footage demonstrates a wide field of view and poor low light capabilities not providing enough facial details to identify the suspect. 
  • Student struck by bus - In September 2008, a boy is struck by a passing city bus just outside his academy. The footage holds the kid accountable holding any charge against the driver.
  • Cameras keep student pedestrians safe - In May 2010, the transportation director of Ft. Madison, IA explains the success of cameras installed on school buses to help protect children as they are offloaded. Within one month, the transportation department issued 12 tickets and experienced an overall decrease of violators [link no longer available].

Transportation

  • Bus Driver crashes while texting - In June 2008, a bus driver [link no longer available] sending a text message is distracted, causing a shocking and costly crash.

  • Two assailants beat passenger on train - In August 2008, four young adults were arrested during an assaulted robbery on board a city train. Clear CCTV footage provides enough facial characteristics to identify suspects.
  • Motorcycle crashes into Taxi - A brutal accident involving a motorcycle evading police and a taxicab. The confrontation results in a high speed dramtic collision:

  • Attempted kidnap end with a jail sentence - In December 2004, a surveillance system provided evidence of a man and attempted kidnapping of a 14 year old girl during early morning hours. "Camera operators trained their equipment on the area and patrol cars were despatched."
  • Bus driver finds no evidence of breast-feeder's claim - In August 2010, a woman breastfeeding her baby on a bus accused the driver for kicking her off [link no longer available], forcing her to walk home over a kilometer away. After the driver denied these claims, the bus footage was reviewed with no evidence supporting the woman's allegations. No charges against the bus driver were reported.
  • Sexual assault missed - In February 2008, two young women were assaulted in a notorious underpass, only to find out that the CCTV cameras were not powered on. London city officials acknowledge the danger of the underpass and the incident would otherwise have been captured.
  • TSA defends mother's allegations - In October 2009, a disgruntled passenger claims she was separated from her son by TSA agents during airport security screening. As the footage shows, the woman and son were never separated and no court hearings are mentioned.

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