NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After a rash of burglaries on his construction sites, a Nashville builder installed a wildlife camera in one his properties. He caught the thief and posted the pictures on Craigslist.
With burglaries up in Nashville, people are looking for creative ways to stop them. Officials with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said home burglaries are up 15 percent year to date over 2009.
An East Nashville builder may have the right idea. How about a deer camera? A deer camera is a hunting camera that is motion activated. The camera sits dormant until an animal passes by. The motion sensor activates the camera and begins recording.
Builder Daniel Fell refurbishes homes in East Nashville. Last week someone broke into one of his homes on Granada Street and stole construction material.
"He went through and tossed open another window, tossed some material outside, went back around and took it this way, so he probably lives close by," said Fell.
That same day Fell's carpenter got the idea to install the deer camera inside the house.
"It's infrared. It's night vision, and it's motion – there's a motion sensor on it so he doesn't know he's being photographed," said Fell.
The next night the camera captured the burglar on tape. Now, Metro police are trying to track down the suspect.
Unfortunately, the suspect is not the only one police are looking for. Home burglaries are up in many parts of the city.
"It's been real trying. This year we've had a dramatic increase in burglaries than other years. I'm not quite sure what's the driving force," said detective Mark Woodfin, who works in the East Precinct.
Fell said he has a lot of experience with burglaries. He said he has helped police catch more than half of the suspects who have hit the homes he has worked on.
Fell wanted to do everything he could to help, so he posted put the suspect's photo on CraigsList, and he has been getting responses. See the Craigslist listing
"I got a call or an e-mail off CraigsList that says one thinks it's my neighbor who had his home foreclosed," said Fell.
Police thought they had a match until their suspect had tattoos. The man in the video did not have tattoos.
Fell offered a $100 reward to any neighbors who could identify the suspect.