T Nation

Need Security Camera Advice...


So here's the situation. For the 3rd time in 3 months, money has gone missing from my apartment. Between me, my roommate, and my roommate's boyfriend, the tally is up to around $2000. Considering my roommate is a waitress and her boyfriend is working under the counter after getting laid off from his engineering job and I'm a grad student, this is more than a little significant.

Some of these thefts have occurred at VERY suspicious times, including one that had to have happened while the boyfriend was asleep and his wallet was emptied less than 10 feet away from him. Before, when I thought it was someone I knew, I could explain it as them being known to my roommate and her boyfriend. This last occurrence is exactly like the others, but the previous suspect is in another country. The only option is that this is a VERY calculating and VERY bold thief (this last theft happened this morning (sunday) between 7:30-10am).

I need some kind of camera system that I can set up in the apartment. Something discrete would be great, and recording is a must. Near the door to the apartment, we have a bar that has plenty of space to hide the hard drive/power supply stuff and it has a power strip too. Suggestions are very welcome.

Before you ask, we HAVE been locking the door, these have been happening in rare instances where the door is unlocked. For example, I flew back from holidays at home, but left my house key at home. I asked my roommate to leave the door unlocked when she went to work, which was the 7:30-10am window this morning. This person HAS to be watching the apartment somehow...


Have you considered that the roommate could be stealing your money, then pretending his gets stolen to take suspicion off of himself? That was the first thing I thought of.


I'll do a stake-out. Save your money, I work for PP shakes.


penis pudding shakes?




You dont have to work for those. I'll give you all the baby batter you want for free.


No, she's on the up and up. She cannot have been in the apartment the last two times because she was at work. This last time she was dropped off by her boyfriend without her car. Unless they're both in on it, but my personal losses have only been about $400 of that $2000 total. I don't keep cash around basically ever... My losses have been half of her rent she paid me and some poker tournament money I hadn't gotten around to depositing. She makes more money than I do at her job and more than enough to live off of easily, the boyfriend gets unemployment, VA benefits, and works under the counter. They don't need my handful of cash...


funny, I was just looking into them myself.

on Amazon by far the best reviews seem to be from this one, you can find cheaper, but this seems to have the best all around features. Look around on there and find one that suits your needs. I'll need one for outdoor use.

this one may be ok for you


It's an inside job. Your roommates boyfriend has a drug habit and is running a game on both of you.

Junkies are famous for stealing your wallet then helping you look for it.

If I was him I'd steal and sell the cameras you install too.

edit: Then help you look for them.


If you do get some cameras, I'd advise you not to let your room mates know, otherwise your not gonna catch them in the act...


This 100%
and what chewy says too... DO NOT TELL EITHER ONE OF THEM.
Cuz its gonna be the boyfriend.
And damn thats alot of money!


I work in the security industry. I'd love to sell you a covert system but it would cost you more than you're prob willing to pay. I design real systems not the crap you can get at Best Buy. So, just go to Costco or Best Buy and get a crappy system.


I think a crappy system will probably do it.
You know, unless the theif is the crafty surveilance stranger Ninja that OP suspects it is.


Won't most camcorders these days have a motion detection setting? Perhaps a webcam tricked out for job would be best as it would be easier to conceal.

Ok, camcorder disguised as a box of kleenexes. MacGuyver some shit. Most people aren't that observant, if itsaway from eye level, or only records a sliver of a hallway between two flower vases, or the front door or summat it should still work.


I really can't stress how much I'm not worried that it's my roommate or her boyfriend doing the thieving. If either of them were doing the stealing, they wouldn't be stealing in a lump-sum like that, they'd do a lot better and with less suspicion by stealing a $5, $10, or $20 here or there. There are other reasons I know it's not either of them (including her car was broken into, she was bad at keeping it locked) but I can't go into some of them.

If there are cameras in the apartment, they'd know anyway. I can't afford something crazy discrete, and one of them will HAVE to go in the living room closet... Anybody entering/exiting the apartment has to walk past the line of sight of the closet and there are toolbags, paintball pants, etc in there to hide it. The first time they need to go into the closet, they'll find the camera and I'll be out a roommate. Considering how perfect this roommate works for many, many reasons (again, which I can't go into here), I'd rather not jeopardize it needlessly.

IF, somehow, my roommate or her boyfriend are responsible for the thefts, it will have to stop once the cameras are installed anyway. If money goes missing, I go to check the tapes (which, looking at systems, I'm going to have dumped onto my computer), and nobody strange is on the tapes... Well they've given themselves away, haven't they?


you could take half the money you'd spend on a system from Nvr, and pay holymac to lay in wait under the bed until they came to steal more shit

then with the other half we could go out and celebrate


If you have wifi and a PC at home, this will work just fine:


I have it set up to watch my front door. I might be tough to hide but it worked out well for me. You just need to keep your PC on.


My PC is on 24/7 except for like 2-3 hours in the early morning once a week when it automatically installs updates. I happened to be putting in an order from Amazon anyway, so this was a great link.

Easy to set up/install?


You may get more surprises than you bargained for with HM hiding under your bed.


You mean my MFF on Thursday night might turn into an MMFF?