Ben Smith is all too familiar with car break-ins, especially from his time in San Francisco’s Mission District. Last month, he tried a new type of dashboard camera that made him, at least temporarily, feel a little more secure.
“I now have some sort of weapon at my disposal to help watch over my car,” said Smith, 42. “I didn’t expect that extra feeling of safety. I’m feeling like, ‘Yeah, at least I’m doing something.’”
Smith was an early tester for Palo Alto’s Owl Cameras, which began selling the self-installed Owl Car Cam this month. The device is part of a $349 bundle that includes a year of mobile wireless service — necessary, in the absence of Wi-Fi, to view live video on a smartphone and share clips. (After the first year, the wireless service will cost $10 per month.)
Owl Cameras is emerging at a time when an epidemic of car break-ins has hit cities like San Francisco, where police received more than 30,000 reports of the crime last year. Police have made arrests in fewer than 2 percent of cases, and a loophole in the law forces a smash-and-grab victim to physically appear in court to testify that he or she locked the car doors, which elevates the crime to a felony.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
Author: Benny Evangelista