Secret cameras bust burglars

ANNA TURNER
Last updated 16:40 23/11/2012
red zone burglar std
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INTRUDER: A man slips under a garage door, triggering a camera.

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Christchurch Earthquake 2011

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Secret security cameras installed in the red zone have been catching burglars and vandals red-handed.

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera), with police, have installed cameras in Crown-owned residential red zone homes to help identify intruders at empty properties.

The motion-triggered cameras are rotated through the empty houses to assist  police with burglary and vandalism.

Once a camera is triggered a security firm is automatically notified.

The cameras have been operating for six months and have already captured images of several people inside houses.

Some situations are easy to explain, such as insurers visiting.

However, pictures released to The Press today were taken when no-one should be in the house.

Cera's red zone security manager Brenden Winder said there had been "isolated instances" of criminal behaviour in the residential red zone homes.

"Some of the homes have been bought off the former owner under Option 2 of the Red Zone offer process, which means their value needs to be worked through with the relevant insurer," he said.

"Thefts and vandalism can devalue the house which may leave the taxpayer out of pocket so we need to protect the Crown's assets while this process is underway."

Winder said police patrols in the residential red zone played an important part of their safety and security work.

"It is helpful to have access to images that can identify people in situations that might otherwise be difficult to ascertain".

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- The Press

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