To Catch a Thief

A couple of weeks ago, a burglar broke into the flat belonging to my friend Duncan Grisby.
Sadly, burglaries are all too common in the Cambridge area, and the police are unwilling or incapable of doing anything about it. I have never, ever, heard of a burglar being caught, and certainly never heard of them being sentenced as a result.

Until now. This one hadn’t reckoned on Duncan and his software.

More information from the BBC and from Duncan’s own website.

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Very cool story – I saw it on the BBC website yesterday. I’ve been using Dorgem for a
while to make films of my room whilst I’m out at work, as the motion detection feature will capture things like shadows passing
as the sun’s position in the sky changes and so on. Compressed into MPG movies these make for fun time-lapse studies of my
living space, but it’s excellent to think that if I did FTP them off my computer I could have evidence of anyone who broke into the
room, even if they took the PC (though how attractive a Pentium II which has been partially spraypainted canary yellow is, I’m unsure).
In addition to a webcam I’ve also experimented with a home security camera from Homebase – once this is rigged up to the PC
with a video capture device it can be left outside, as it has a super long lead and is both waterproof and provides its own infra-red
source. I’ve been using that to monitor my bird feeder and hope to try it on the frogs in the pond at night when the weather
gets better.

Dear Duncan,

I was impressed with your story. Hopefully, your experience and capture of the thief that broke into your flat will be a great lesson for all people concerned about home evasions and burglaries. Thanks for the insight on how to “catch a thief.”

Johnny Israel
City Room Press

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