What’s the point of having security cameras if they suck?

A bank robber has been plaguing the San Francisco area in recent months. He’s robbed a dozen banks and stolen thousands of dollars. They posted security photos on the local news last night hoping that some member of the public might be able to identify the man.

Trouble is, they only have two or three low-resolution, black and white images that are so blurry the police can’t even be sure if he has tattoos on his arms or not. The photos of Patty Hearst (above) taking part in a bank robbery in 1974 are better quality than the ones they have of this guy!

And it’s not just one bank with cheap security cameras – he’s robbed a dozen different banks and not one of them took any good photos.

We’ve all seen security camera photos on the news and most of them are pretty pathetic. The best security videos I’ve seen are from cameras mounted in people’s homes – cameras they purchased at a local electronics store.

So what’s the point of security cameras in banks? To help identify thieves right?

Maybe, many years ago when these security systems were initially set up they cost a lot of money, but today you can buy a complete security system with four digital HD cameras for under $1,000.

These days, digital HD cameras are so cheap that it’s just plain stupid for banks, airports, businesses and even our own government not to have them installed everywhere.

Now I realize that if you walk into a security camera store and ask for a home security system you could get everything you needed for under $1,000 but if you walked into that same store and asked for the exact same system only you told them it was for a bank or a liquor store the price would probably jump to $10,000 (and if you told them it was for the government the same system would cost $250,000).

But come on people! Banks (and the government) have plenty of money to upgrade their cameras.

Make use of the technology that’s available. It’s not that expensive and you might actually be able to catch a thief or two. 

Guy Wright

Guy Wright has been covering the technology space since the days when computers had cranks and networks were steam powered. He has been a writer and editor for more years then he cares to admit.


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