BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - With thousands of vehicle burglaries each year in Baton Rouge, residents are starting to take measures into their own hands, installing surveillance cameras outside their homes.
Data going back to 2011 shows at least 2,000 attempted or committed vehicle burglaries occur in the city each year. So far this year, there have been 2,093 committed or attempted burglaries to occur in Baton Rouge, according to data from the Baton Rouge Police Department.
"Back in the day, we were only doing commercial really, because they were the only ones who could afford it. Everyone's putting it on their houses now," said Brandon Sillivan.
Sillivan installs camera systems as part of his work for Xtreme Security and Surveillance in Baton Rouge. He said homeowners are quickly becoming his biggest customers, in large part because costs for the equipment have d ropped in recent years.
A few years ago, installing cameras could cost several grand. Now the costs falls somewhere between $1,000 to $2,000. It can cost even less if the homeowner installs it themselves.
Shawn Faust, who lives on Arlington Avenue near Government Street, installed cameras over a year ago outside his home after a laptop was stolen from his wife's truck.
It happened again this past weekend. In the early hours of the morning on Saturday, at least two individuals broke into Faust's unlocked truck, stealing his wallet.
"Upset, angry. Those are the first things that come through," Faust said. "I get concerned for the safety of my family."
Faust's cameras caught the burglars in action.
The camera systems themselves have improved over the years. Sillivan said turning to digital allows cameras to be hidden in things like smoke alarms.
"The cameras are hidden. The criminals don't know where to look," he said.
Night vision has also improved.
"Back in the day, it was hard to see at night. Now you can see almost as clear as in the daylight," Sillivan said.
While there is no guarantee that they will be able to find the folks who stole from Faust's truck, he said the video is his best bet.
"At least I've got a fighting chance to figure out what's happened," Faust said.