Home security cameras aid in solving crime

If you're in front of Pastor D.R. Ballew's house, he can see what you're up to.  Ballew installed surveillance cameras in his home after thieves stole his tools.

"I lost over $4,000 of equipment," he said. "Stealing it right out of my truck, off that trailer, out of my back yard, even went in the side rooms while I was asleep."

It cost Ballew several hundred dollars to install 8 cameras, motion detectors, and an alarm monitor the outside of his house.

"Since I put it in, I haven't had anymore thefts whatsoever," he said.

Still, his system has proved to be a useful tool, even catching the aftermath of a murder across the street from his home. Authorities say tapes like this can be helpful to police.

"If it's dated and the time is maintained it can give investigators a tool," said Sgt. Vince Higgins, spokesperson for the Memphis Police Department.
Home surveillance is becoming more popular.  Jeff Britt, manager of a local hardware store, said cameras are available for as little as $30.

"It runs off telephone line, you run that into your home," Britt said. "It splits off telephone line into which goes into an audio/video cable that runs directly into the back of any television you can buy since 1995."

Britt added many of his customers say cameras add security you can't put a price on.  Meanwhile, Memphis Police officials emphasize that while cameras are a valuable tool, citizens should never try to chase or in anyway stop a criminal.