WKYT Investigates: More homes with surveillance cameras, police have advice

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lexington resident Miller Wilson bought surveillance cameras for his home about six months ago. "I set up virtual zones that show what activity is happening and where," he explained to WKYT's Miranda Combs. Wilson was showing how the system works through an app on his phone. "You can add countless cameras on it," he explained. Already, Wilson said he's caught suspicious activity on his street. He's not the only one with cameras on his home. Surveillance cameras have turned his street into a virtual neighborhood watch.

Wilson's set-up was relatively inexpensive. He spent about $200 and installed two cameras himself.

Dan Moore owns Bluegrass Home Entertainment. "People want to know who's at their door before they go and open it," he said of the increase in customers buying the surveillance cameras. "There's a lot of crooks out there trying to take something that's ours, so we protect ourselves." He said just a few years ago, about 30 percent of his customers wanted cameras. Now, it's pretty much all of them.

Lexington Police Officer Bige Towery said he's seen a big swing in the amount of homeowners able to provide video to police after a disturbance. "As far as neighborhood associations and working with neighborhood watch programs, we're really starting to hear a lot about that now," he said.

But if the goal of having a camera on your home is safety, Officer Towery said you need to make sure the angle of the camera will allow the user to see the person's face. If the camera is mounted too high, a hat or hood could block the camera's view. "If we have good footage, where we can make a positive ID, then certainly it can make a difference in prosecution and time frame of prosecution." Officer Towery also said if a homeowner captures something suspicious on their camera, keep the recording for at least two weeks for police.

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