“I’m hoping for a recommendation for good quality video camera to ensure he’s not coming around my home”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Julian Ortiz

“Dear PoPville,

I have had a mild street harasser (typical cat caller… But he’s now started to follow me home.). I have filed a police report but now I’m freaked out he knows where I live. I have an alarm system but I’m hoping for a recommendation for good quality video camera to ensure he’s not coming around my home. Would the readers be able to recommend a camera/system that would give high quality imaging? Trying to not over react but I’m home alone with my 4 year old a lot while my husband travels and I’m pretty nervous now.”

25 Comment

  • try Arlo. It’s wireless, easy to set up, and good quality. Since its wireless (including power – uses batteries) it means you can put it almost anywhere and can set it to record on movement and send alerts to your phone.

  • No recommendations, I just wanted to give you my sympathies. I’ve been through this and it is so scary. Hopefully the police can scare him off, but it’s good that you are taking precautions.

  • Highly recommend DVCI security – they install cameras and are affordable, professional and really helpful.
    They use the ALIBI system – and it works great (DVR, app for phone…)
    (443) 975-2456 ask for Dan

  • Hi, I work with security equipment and CCTV systems. I have a mid-level IP camera that I would be willing to lend you for a few weeks if you would like. It’s valued at about $300, but I would be happy to lend it to you, assuming I get it back. Relatively easy install.

    Is there a way to share my email with you via PopVille?

  • Sorry you are dealing with this. Scary. I don’t have a recommendation for a camera system, but did want to recommend the book “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin de Becker. One of his recommendations is to obey your innate sense of fear/Spidey sense, over your socialized, trying-to-be rational brain. Trust your instincts. Sounds like you are taking the appropriate steps, but it’s a great resource for dealing with bad guys. Stay safe.

    • Second that book recommendation. When I saw this post, that’s exactly what came to mind. Good luck. This sounds like a very scary situation. If you’re home a lot, maybe consider getting a dog for protection and deterrance?

      • Yes, I agree, but with the caveat that his domestic violence chapter is crap (“once, and you’re a victim, twice, and you’re a volunteer,” to paraphrase) and he has some victim-blamey undertones. What he writes about trusting your instincts and his chapter on stalking are very good though.

  • We use Logitech Alert cameras which we really like but were recently discontinued. Although they have exterior models, we have one in the front window that gets a great view of the porch and street.

    So, how about something like a dropcam in your front window facing your porch and sidewalk?

  • Look into Dropcam (recently purchased by Nest).

    It’s a cool little wireless camera that you can access from your phone, computer, etc. There is an always on service for a monthly fee that records 10 or 30 days of video in the cloud so you can review what happened even if you aren’t looking at your phone.

    Apparently, it’s a very very easy setup.

    • Nest whose parent company is Google. Buyer beware.

      • What’s the problem there?

        • Just remember how Google makes money. So make sure to read the Terms of service – especially with this product – and find out what they’re doing with your data stream.

    • Dropcam, by Nest (Google) is super easy to set up and it basically just works. It is wired so just know you need to have an outlet nearby. It has night vision. Allows you to listen and speak through a mic. Sends video alerts to your phone. The down side is it isn’t weatherproof and has a video storage fee. Get the HD version. There were older generations with lower quality video and less features.

      An alternative is Arlo, mentioned in the first comment above. They were bought by Netgear. They are wireless and can be mounted outside your front or back door. Video storage is free for 7 days, or you can upgrade for a fee. It does not have audio. It also sends phone alerts.

      In both cases your video is stored on the cloud so if someone were to take your camera the video is secured elsewhere.

  • jim_ed

    We have dropcams set up in both the front and doors. Haven’t caught anyone sketchy on our property yet, but it’s nice peace of mind.
    That said, if you have a stalker following you, I would implore that you get some kind of self defense weapon like pepper gel and don’t hesitate to use it if you feel threatened. Better safe than sorry.

  • Dropcam

    SUPER easy to set up. Runs off of wifi. Cloud recording.

  • Good you are taking this seriously. Since you have a young person, weapons are out of the question.

    If he were to kick the door in and enter, what would you do?

    • Better to worry about that is to fix the door so it can’t BE kicked in. Like, iron bar gate in front of the door, if it is an external door. Or serious locks or reinforcements if it is an internal condo or apartment door. One should never live in a place where the door could be be easily kicked in.

      • Isn’t it pretty to think so? Bars and such only slow entry. Better than nothing. Better still to have a plan once the dude is in the house.

  • We just had ADT come to install a camera in our house (interior). The camera records in night and day. The quality for the night feed is actually really good. As soon as you open the door it starts to record a clip until you turn off the alarm. So if you were attacked (and I pray that never happens) while you were trying to get in it would be on camera. They can also set up cameras outside of your house like near the door that are motion sensor. Really anywhere you want. The cost for just the one in our house was about $30 to install and the extra cost to our service plan per month is about $3 or $4. So well worth the small amount of money to feel safer.

    But it does take about 4 hours for them to install. Call ADT or your security company and they can give you options. They also gave me a key ring alarm so I can set the alarm off to my house as a panic button at any time if I am inside or near. I keep mine by the nightstand. So if you were a few blocks from your house and panicked you could start to run and the police would have already been notified by the time you get there. Hope you NEVER have to use any of this.

  • I don’t see my original post so I’ll try again. PLEASE alert your neighbors- even if you don’t know them. Knock on doors, leave notes, whatever. Give them a thorough description. You need more eyes on the situation. Also, the support would be- I assume and hope- comforting to you, especially when your husband is away.

    • THIS. I had a stalker in college and the smartest thing I ever did was tell my neighbors about him and give a detailed description and photo. A common tactic with stalkers/harassers is to ask neighbors for information about their target, under the guise of “Oh, I was trying to drop something off at RunEatRun’s house but I don’t know which one it is!” or “I was supposed to meet RunEatRun for coffee but they aren’t home – do you know when they’ll be back?” etc. My stalker tried this, and was shut down by my supportive, understanding neighbors. All they have to do is say something neutral or claim not to know who you are, you aren’t asking them to confront anyone on your behalf.

      Make sure you let your neighbors know that you are having a problem with this person, and for them to ABSOLUTELY NEVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES give this individual any information about you AT ALL, including your whereabouts, your husband’s whereabouts, etc.

      Sorry for the ALLCAPS, this post and this reply really struck a chord with me. Best of luck, OP.

  • So this is me, and it’s been a terrifying 2 days. The POI is someone who I would see while out walking my dogs. I would see him on random occasions over the past few months and the first time, he said hello, I said hello back (just in a polite way). Mistake #1. My kindness was the only hook he needed. I would see him likely once a week (sometimes less) and he would say things along “HOLA, HELLO, YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL, Aye mommy, SO SEXY, etc'” He would follow me for a short distance, about 20 feet away, and I ignored him and it still continued (seemed annoying but mostly harmless). Yesterday, I didn’t even know he was following me. He made no cat calls or other means to alert me to his presence. I didn’t see him on my walk, and only noticed him when I was approaching my house, as I reached my door I saw his reflection from the sidewalk on the glass door. I screamed at him “GO AWAY!!!!”. He made a laughing face and pulled out his phone. I don’t know if he took a picture, pretended to make a call or wrote down my house # but I was so upset that I called the police. Within a minute or two he left down the street (back the way he followed me).

    I took a different route for the dogs today and have no intentions of going anywhere near where I would see him. Reading some posts here have terrified me even more. I have ADT so I will call them tomorrow about the camera. Drop box will likely be my alternative (though the first suggestion also sounds like it could work). To the security guy who offered to lend me the camera, you are a SAINT. But, I will likely need this “safety” blanket for years now.
    Thank you for all your posts, even the ones that made my heart race. Ordering the suggested self defense tools now.

    Finally, the neighbors are a good idea. It’s obvious this guy lives in the area, so I need to make sure they are on the look out. Although, I will say, my cordial possibly drug dealing neighbor, saw me talking to the police (and crying) and asked what was wrong. He promised me that if it were to happen again to come straight to his house. So… there’s that too. Jokes aside, I can’t believe this is happening. My husband wants to find the guy, and I just want it all to go away.

    • The police should be checking up on you. Constantly. Starting yesterday.

    • Hi there, I’m so sorry to hear this is happening. I work for a local nonprofit- the Network For Victim Recovery of DC. We work with all crime victims in the city but specialize in stalking, domestic violence, run the advocacy portion of the city’s sexual assault crisis response program, etc. because you have filed a police report you are most likely eligible for crime victim’s compensation. CVC will cover up to $1500 for added home security measures. You can either get an estimate from ADT or purchase your own and get reimbursed. We also have crime victims rights attorneys on staff that can help obtain a civil protection order if you’re interested. Please give us a call if you’re interested in help with any of this! (All of our services are pro-Bono so this isn’t an ad!)

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