Online Grocery Delivery with COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe in whirlwind fashion. Guidelines put in place by our state and national governments are affecting many of our e-commerce businesses and how consumers shop. As a direct result, we have seen an upsurge in the grocery delivery service. It’s the perfect solution for both vulnerable and responsible citizens who are following stay-and-shelter orders. Safely purchase groceries online and have them delivered directly to your doorstep.
Unfortunately, this upsurge in grocery delivery service has been met with a rise in criminal activity. We have heard from several people who have experienced grocery theft during the delivery process; a type of criminal activity that we have witnessed before but is on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully, video surveillance systems are helping to catch thieves in the act and even lend a hand in theft prevention. In this blog post, we will provide our home video surveillance recommendations and techniques with which you can keep your home secure.
COVID-19 Doorstep Theft
A recent article published by Daily Mail details how a couple made the wise decision to self-isolate within their Australian home during COVID-19. Having no other way to purchase food, they had groceries delivered to their doorstep. Within minutes of delivery, thieves took off with as much as they could carry. At first, the couple thought the driver safely hid the groceries around the corner. Only after checking their security cameras did they realize the thieves had stolen their items. See the image below, courtesy of Daily Mail, for a closer look at the couple’s home video surveillance recording.
Many of us have heard similar stories in our own neighborhoods. And it’s not only groceries. Packages of all shapes and sizes are being stolen as well. A New York Times article published in December revealed that over 90,000 packages a day disappear without explanation in New York City. The article goes on to state that around the country, more than 1.7 million packages go missing every day. Can you imagine how these statistics have changed during the upsurge in e-commerce and delivery services during COVID-19?
Home Video Surveillance Recommendations for Theft Prevention
The video surveillance market has changed immensely over the last ten years. As previously discussed on the blog, neighborhoods across the country now utilize doorbell cameras as an extra security surveillance measure. However, Primeau Forensics has witnessed hundreds of video enhancement investigations in which doorbell camera recordings weren’t high enough quality to clarify details. If a digital video recorder is not set to its highest quality parameters, doorstep thieves and other criminals may go unidentified. With this in mind, we have recommendations for calibrating surveillance equipment in order to maximize your investment and prevent both grocery and package theft.
The resolution, compression, and FPS (frames per second) are all equally important. You should never compromise one for the other. Use maximum resolution, quality, FPS settings to capture the highest possible clarity. Should a crime be committed on your doorstep, this will ensure the necessary details are available for investigation.
The more cameras, the better. Above minimum coverage of your property helps capture unpredictable crimes and their suspects.
Camera equipment should have night vision sensors to produce clarity at maximum distances. This is especially important for camera equipment mounted on the home itself. Ensure the area your camera is recording has sufficient light. LED is the most efficient and effective type of lighting to use and produces the highest quality image. This is important for both indoor and outdoor camera applications.
Cloud vs. Physical Storage
Cloud-based storage solutions offer a secure, off-site location to preserve digital video evidence. This is especially important when a surveillance video recorder, such as a doorbell camera, is exposed to theft. While Cloud-based storage may be more secure, it is more costly when preserving maximum quality recordings. Physical storage solutions are more cost-friendly in higher capacities, though more vulnerable to theft. If you choose to use a physical storage solution, hide the recorder in an out of reach location.
Most video surveillance recording equipment offers audio recording capability. Audio recordings provide additional evidence should a crime occur. While most suspects conceal their physical appearance, audio recorded evidence capabilities offer other means of identification.
How Forensic Video Enhancement Can Help Identify Doorstep Theives
Investment in quality surveillance equipment is a great step towards the prevention of grocery and package theft during these high-volume delivery times. In many cases, forensic video enhancement helps to identify suspects, license plates, and other unique identifying characteristics that police need to catch thieves and manage criminal activity.