Using Auto-Vox A118C as security camera

uski

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Hi,

At my workplace we have a food store where people can buy snacks and drinks.
The inventory is held by a computer system and we regularly have a mismatch between what's in stock and what the computer think there is.

So there is some theft.

I needed a quick way to see what's going on...

...so I setup my AUTO-VOX A118C dashcam in motion detection mode, put it at the top of a shelf in a cardboard box with a small hole for the lens, and voila, 5-min DIY security camera with motion detection !

I used a cell-phone charger to power it.
The only issue is that the image is rotated 180 degrees but it's not a big deal.

I just wanted to share this use with you, as people possibly have old dashcams that they want to reuse, or maybe they look for an easy setup.

Materials used :
- AUTO-VOX A118C dashcam (click here for the exact product)
- Transcend 32GB high-endurance microSD card (click here for the exact product - I recommend 64GB instead)

Have fun !
 
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uski

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Here's the camera hidden in a box :
IMG_20170328_140545.jpg

Clearly if you don't know what it is, you can't see it.
I added window tinting film over the area and some adhesive/stickers to make it messy. I think it was 35% tint.

See, even up close the lens can't be seen easily :
IMG_20170328_140556.jpg

Now let's hope I can catch the thief ! :)
 

Dashmellow

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Others here have used dash cams and action cams in a similar fashion.

For example, two and a half years ago DCT member @soundesciple used a Mobius camera cleverly mounted inside the case of an old DVD player to catch a caregiver stealing from his elderly mother's purse.

You may find the thread interesting reading, especially if you ever need a longer term, more permanent solution.

https://dashcamtalk.com/forum/threads/covert-in-house-camera-wanted.7864/

 
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uski

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Thanks Dashmellow for the link, thas was an interesting read.

Regarding my case, it didn't take long, I found the thief :

thief.jpg

It's the building cleaning personnel. How sad. I really wish I didn't catch this and it was an inventory bug instead. This guy is risking his job for $1 chocolate bars... (but the damage over the long term is well above $100, he's been doing this for a while and is seen taking at least 5 items in one shot)

I have to acknowledge @viofo too. It's their firmware in this A118C, the motion detection settings helped.
 

Dashmellow

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Thanks Dashmellow for the link, thas was an interesting read.

Regarding my case, it didn't take long, I found the thief :

View attachment 30044

It's the building cleaning personnel. How sad. I really wish I didn't catch this and it was an inventory bug instead. This guy is risking his job for $1 chocolate bars... (but the damage over the long term is well above $100, he's been doing this for a while and is seen taking at least 5 items in one shot)

I have to acknowledge @viofo too. It's their firmware in this A118C, the motion detection settings helped.
You know, I've found myself thinking about this story. I don't know what kind of company you work for or what your position is at your company but this guy is apparently a low wage menial employee pilfering chocolate bars. I would hope that before you go and takes steps that will cause this worker to lose his job that you simply take this fellow aside and have a chat with him about this situation.
 
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uski

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Yes I'm uncomfortable with the situation... I'll talk to my boss.
 

DashcamDPR

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I wanted to become a member of our security team where I work purely for that reason. It's so easy to punish for this kind of crime (in truth obviously it is a crime) but no one ever asks why.

I often felt like I was the only one who could see a situation like the above and think "Is this person struggling to put food on the table and therefore doing this out of absolute desperation?"

You can be as careful and as financially conscious as possible but things happen that can send you into a world of hardship you might never have seen coming and literally have no way out other than to do something you otherwise would never dream of!

I knew someone a while ago who was what I would consider "worry free" regarding money. not AT ALL wealthy, but with an "ordinary house" and an ordinary job and a very normal life. but she didn't realise that her partner at the time had got himself into a world of debt through gambling, he'd hidden all the mail from her, until it got so bad that he took his own life and left her with less than nothing, she was having to work two jobs, and eventually sold her house for 25% less than it's potential value and, although in her late 40s, move back in with her mother :(
 
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uski

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What I can tell you is that I wish everybody here never has to deal with what I had to deal with with this situation.

The guy was fired and I feel responsible. Even though the guy still stole quite a bit of money from the employees themselves (this self-serve food stuff is purely employee-funded).

I didn't expect they would fire him and once my boss saw the footage everything was out of my hands.

Problem is, this guy doesn't work for our company, but for the building maintenance company. So we had no control of what they would do with the situation and we still felt compelled to tell them what was going on : this guy has 100% access to all the building.

I postponed installing a camera but the losses were becoming too high to continue doing nothing. I think I was quite afraid of what I would see and the consequences.

It sucks. A good lesson for me. Not that I would necessarily do it differently - but everything comes with consequences you have to live with.
 

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What I can tell you is that I wish everybody here never has to deal with what I had to deal with with this situation.

The guy was fired and I feel responsible. Even though the guy still stole quite a bit of money from the employees themselves (this self-serve food stuff is purely employee-funded).

I didn't expect they would fire him and once my boss saw the footage everything was out of my hands.

Problem is, this guy doesn't work for our company, but for the building maintenance company. So we had no control of what they would do with the situation and we still felt compelled to tell them what was going on : this guy has 100% access to all the building.

I postponed installing a camera but the losses were becoming too high to continue doing nothing. I think I was quite afraid of what I would see and the consequences.

It sucks. A good lesson for me. Not that I would necessarily do it differently - but everything comes with consequences you have to live with.
I am so terribly sorry to hear that the worker got fired and that you didn't "do it differently". I wish you had followed my suggestion to handle the situation discreetly, take the guy aside and have a talk with him in private about the video. I'm confident that would have been the end of it and the guy would still have his low wage job. Now, because he got fired over something as petty as pilfering chocolate bars he may not find another job so easily. He's obviously not a young man either and that only compounds his troubles.
 
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uski

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I did hear your suggestion but it was too late unfortunately. PS: I didn't expect them to fire him. Looks like you know better than I do.

You're right I would actually probably do it differently next time : not install a camera and secure the door.

In fact, I have no confirmation he's been fired - I just never saw him again. It's possible they moved him to a different building.
 
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Dashmellow

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I did hear your suggestion but it was too late unfortunately. PS: I didn't expect them to fire him. Looks like you know better than I do.

You're right I would actually probably do it differently next time : not install a camera and secure the door.

In fact, I have no confirmation he's been fired - I just never saw him again. It's possible they moved him to a different building.
I'm sorry, I didn't mean it to sound like "I told you so" I was just upset to hear this in light of my post on April 3rd.

I don't know if I would secure the door? Maybe he needed access to that room?

It's funny that this thread would get re-visited today because just this morning I told a neighbor about a story that happened with the guy who delivers my morning newspaper.

After many, many weird delivery problems I called the paper and spoke to circulation about the situation. These kind of things happen all the time on the route and are pretty routine and no big deal. Well, the paper guy was resentful that I complained and he decided to pull some shenanigans, like for example, putting the paper in the tube, photographing it with his cell phone and then removing the paper and driving away. He didn't know that he was captured on a surveillance camera when he did this.

Instead of calling his boss, I called the guy up directly and asked WTF he thought he was doing. First he denied it, then he got pissed off at me for filming him. "OK, man" I said, "I tried to give you a chance here but I guess I'll call your supervisor and send him a copy of the video". Well, guess what? I didn't have to call his boss and now I reliably get a newspaper every morning like clockwork and it shows up on time instead of too late to read it with a cup of coffee before I start my day and when it rains he puts it in a plastic bag like he's supposed to. I don't get a soaking wet paper delivered and he still has a job. :)
 
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jokiin

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Guy had access to the whole building, perhaps other sites as well, maybe he only stole chocolate at this site but what was going missing elsewhere, there may have been other reports of problems that you're not aware of so I wouldn't be too hard on yourself for bringing it to their attention
 

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I'm not sorry the guy got fired nor am I happy about it. It just is what it is- a dishonest person reaping what comes from being dishonest and there is no wrong in that. Whether this guy stole elsewhere or not is a moot point as this is about what he did here, but in my experience someone who would do this with a low-value item would likely do similarly with your wallet had you dropped it there :( Handling such things discreetly doesn't always work. Oftentimes all that will happen is that you are no longer affected but everybody else they steal from still is :oops:

So nothing wrong in any of what happened here. It is all the fault of someone who failed to learn honesty at an early age like most of us do ;)
Phil
 

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Guy had access to the whole building, perhaps other sites as well, maybe he only stole chocolate at this site but what was going missing elsewhere, there may have been other reports of problems that you're not aware of so I wouldn't be too hard on yourself for bringing it to their attention
Unless there were actual reports of other problems or missing items this is simply incriminating someone on the basis of mere speculation. Someone who pilfers some chocolate bars should be given a second chance.
 

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I have zero tolerance for theft. Ask me and I'll give it to you if you really need it, or I'll buy it for you, or I'll make sure you get it somehow. But let me find you stealing it and you'll be going to the hospital when I'm done :mad:

It's not speculation- this guy was proven to be a thief by the video. It's like the old saying about pregnancy: there is no "a little pregnant", you either are or you are not ;) And I am not either one :cool:

Phil
 

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Someone who pilfers some chocolate bars should be given a second chance.
whoever is responsible for him as a staff member made that call so without knowing more detail there's no point in the person that filmed it guilt tripping over it
 

Dashmellow

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I have zero tolerance for theft. Ask me and I'll give it to you if you really need it, or I'll buy it for you, or I'll make sure you get it somehow. But let me find you stealing it and you'll be going to the hospital when I'm done :mad:

It's not speculation- this guy was proven to be a thief by the video. It's like the old saying about pregnancy: there is no "a little pregnant", you either are or you are not ;) And I am not either one :cool:

Phil
I believe in giving people second chances for minor infractions like stealing chocolate bars. It comes from my history of working with kids who've made some wrong choices in life. Often that second chance makes all the difference with what they do with their lives going forward. The kids that are given harsh punishment are usually the ones that end up with long rap sheets.

This guy was older and should certainly have known better but we don't know the circumstances of why he behaved that way or whether there is a deeper history.


whoever is responsible for him as a staff member made that call so without knowing more detail there's no point in the person that filmed it guilt tripping over it

I advocated for having a chat with the guy before reporting him. He still could have been reported depending on the outcome of that conversation. Maybe there would have been a compelling explanation and a heartfelt statement of remorse and pledge to never do it again? Or maybe the guys is just a ****head?

@uski knew there would be consequences for the employee one way or the other if he reported the theft to his superiors. We all have to deal with how we feel about the choices we make in life, just like the guy stealing the chocolate bars.
 

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Unless there were actual reports of other problems or missing items this is simply incriminating someone on the basis of mere speculation. Someone who pilfers some chocolate bars should be given a second chance.
I agree with 2nd chance for chocolate bars. (slap on the wrist) This was an elderly man working in maintenance probably working for minimum wage. I bet those chocolate bars were meant for his grandkids. No excuse for theft, but take him on the side and say cut it out would have been enough of an embarrassment as a punishment.
 

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I have zero tolerance for theft. Ask me and I'll give it to you if you really need it, or I'll buy it for you, or I'll make sure you get it somehow. But let me find you stealing it and you'll be going to the hospital when I'm done :mad:

It's not speculation- this guy was proven to be a thief by the video. It's like the old saying about pregnancy: there is no "a little pregnant", you either are or you are not ;) And I am not either one :cool:

Phil
Phil you are too harsh.... elderly man and only chocolate bars It's sad but we have to give a pass sometimes in life.
 

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