View Full Version : Surveillance Camera Options?

Jul. 2, 2010, 04:15 PM
Our resident thief is back and striking at our stable. Management has been notified, and we have a pretty good idea of who it is, but until we have proof our hands are tied. Does anyone have any good recommendations for wireless surveillance cameras? I'd like to put one at my stall- the thief is brazen enough to steal bales of hay, shavings, halters, rakes, even things out of stalls. I keep everything I can locked up but I am looking for a camera to keep an eye on things, it has to be battery operated and take pictures after dark, and not be constantly triggered by pigeons or other small wildlife. Everything I've seen either needs a direct power source or has to be connected to a computer, which won't work in my case. Any ideas?

Jul. 6, 2010, 04:18 AM
Why not have the camera run from power; I assume your barn has power.
Movement activated lights in combination with a hidden camera would
be good.

Where have you looked at cameras and other security gear? Some time
ago, I saw some on Home Depot or Lowes (internet) and some others
on the internet.

Pictures going to a computer via radio waves is not such a bad idea,
computers are getting cheaper all the time.

If this does not work for you, consider the older technology of wildlife
type cameras, that are set along a trail.
I just went to cabelas.com and put in "camera" in their search box.
I found a "Stealth" "IR" camera for 159 dollars, no computers, just SD card.

But if you cannot hide the camera, you are libel to loose your equipment and
the camera, and be left with only a horse patty or some kind of patty ; )

Jul. 6, 2010, 07:05 AM
I was looking at this camera specifically for foaling stall applications:


but found that the zoom and detail on it is SO vast, it was awful in short range applications and better suited to "surveillance" type situations. We were only getting about 1/4 of the stall at a time no matter how high we mounted it.

But - once we mounted it in the centre of our "T" aisle barn, we could zoom in on anything 20-50-60 feet away and get fabulous detail on it. In full light and low light conditions (it apparently needs a light source equivalent to a flame on a candle to operate)

It has its own built in hard drive that can store up to, I believe, 72 hours of continuous data

You can also hook it up to a computer in the barn and then watch and control it from a remote IP address

I believe an IP camera is what you would be looking for

Jul. 6, 2010, 08:08 AM
Call a security company, have them come out and give you an expert opinion. The appearance of their truck in the driveway may be a good deterrent, too. :) You might also try law enforcement--that's what they're there for.

Jul. 6, 2010, 03:54 PM
Thanks guys, I'll look into those. Yes, we have power, but only at certain places around the barn, not back by my stall, and we are not allowed to leave things plugged in overnight. I'm thinking maybe even a fake camera would work. I keep my lockers locked, but the thief is brazen enough to take fly masks and tail bags off of horses and buckets and salt blocks out of stalls, so who knows. Just frustrating wondering if and when something is going to vanish.

Jul. 6, 2010, 04:03 PM
Someone is stealing salt blocks? Jeez, talk about petty crime. :(

Jul. 6, 2010, 04:52 PM
Someone is stealing salt blocks? Jeez, talk about petty crime. :(

Yeah, it's sad, but everything is fair game to this person. You never know if you are going to show up and your fly sheet will have been taken off of the horse. They broke into a locked rubbermaid and stole a bale of hay last week, and at $30 a bale when it happens time and again it all adds up. Same thing with manure forks and bags of shavings, which around here are $7 to $10 a bag. The thing that really worries me more than a $2 salt brick is that they are entering the stalls. Thats why I was thinking a camera might be a wise investment. I wish I could have a webcam set up, but alas, not at a 420 stall concrete suburbia barn;)

Jul. 6, 2010, 05:14 PM
I wish I could have a webcam set up, but alas, not at a 420 stall concrete suburbia barn;)

Ahhh, I know where you are.
Boarded there several years ago and the sticky fingers were rampant then.
Make a stink about it to the office. They are supposed to be responsible for the safety of their boarders. Have the cops cruise thru. It is in their jurisdiction.
Make sure all the overhead and parking lot lights are working.

There seems to be the "usual" crowd at night. Can you guys do some sort of "neighborhood watch"?

Maybe a designated "watchman" in each aisle?

Get the ugliest purple buckets, halters, etc to have around your stall. Label EVERYTHING - several rings of colored electric tape on all the handles and your name in permanent marker.

I have a bucket of show brushes - bright purple. I've yet to have one walk off at a horse show!

PS: so sorry about Tally :(

Jul. 6, 2010, 09:46 PM
You guys have posted some good suggestions aside from cameras.

Are people allowed in the facility during the night?

Are people required to sigh-in and sign-out in a log book (1$ bound
black/white composition book). This could let you know "who was where
and when". Does a caretaker live close enough to see cars in the lot or a
barn door open? If management of the barn will not take any action at all,
they are disrespecting you, at the least, and actually they may be doing
a "winky-wink" to the theives.

From your description, it sounds like boarders or friends of boarders.
Where do you think they use the items they steal?
Color coding with tape is not so good; better to use paint, glue, epoxy
of certain colors. Neat trick: New slick plastics do not take glue, epoxy, and
paint very well, UNLESS they are primed. DEET will disolve plastics and
synthetic clothing, so it can be used as a primer. So wipe the Deet (bug repellant)
where you want to put the colored glue, wait awile as the surface plastic softens,
then glue it. This works like a champ. I have used it many times.

From 20 years ago, battery operated cheapo alarms were sold.
They worked on the closed circuit principle. I think they are still marketed
for travelers in hotel/motel rooms and for luggage. This would be very good
for when you, or your trusted friends, are in the general area.
(I just thought-dah that these alarms would be OK for tack area, but not for a
horse stall area.)

Frank B
Jul. 7, 2010, 08:13 AM
Check Cabelas for game scouting cameras, especially the IR (infrared) models. They're battery powered, motion operated, and store a tremendous number of time- and date-stamped images on an SD card.

I have one manufactured by Moultrie Feeders (use your search engine). Their customer help line can recommend the best unit for your application.

Jul. 7, 2010, 08:41 AM
This has been good info as I've been wanting to put a night-time vision system in the barn for a long time.

Not to catch two legged criminals but to see who's stealing the cat food and which horse I hear on the monitor that's having trouble getting up.

Regarding the boarding barn thief. I am sorry but allowed to or not, I would sure have someone drop me off at the barn (no car to give away my presence) and hide in my horse's stall so I could pummel the daylights out of the person, and I mean pummel.

And if that person hollered "law suit", I would say "good, let me give you something to really want to sue me over---- just as soon as you get out of the Traction Ward and the wire is removed from your jaw."

We have gotten way too liberal and bleeding heart in this day and age. This should never have been allowed to go on as long as it appears it has been.

This person's become a boarding barn career criminal and has no fear of getting caught because no one's doing anything to stop them.

Jul. 7, 2010, 09:11 AM
WalkinInTheRain - unless you are 6'3", 250 lbs of the male persuasion and have a cell phone with a red panic button I wouldn't do it. Yeah, I get you'd be mad - but that's better than putting yourself in harm's way.

Perhaps if more than one person is being stolen from you could hire a night watchman from a security firm, or pool together and put a security firm on it for say 5 days. The security firm would also have experience with this and give you advice about the police and filing a report etc.

I watched Mall Cop, I don't think they get paid the big bucks ;) but give them a call, explain the situation and see what they'd charge- even just a consultation would be helpful.

Jul. 7, 2010, 05:56 PM
Part of the problem is the size of this facility - 420 stalls!!

It's a huge, commercial boarding facility open to public access and people bring their kids to pet the "horsies".

Stalls are mostly pipe, so hiding inside isn't an option. Most have the tack lockers in the stall so an alarm going off in your horse's stall just isn't going to cut it.

If I remember correctly, management is gone at 5pm (office closes). There is an on-site caretaker but when I was there you didn't see hide nor hair of him in the evenings.

You're pretty much on your own as far as policing your stall and stuff. We complained about the rats the size of cats that ran along the pipes above the grooming areas, but since management wasn't there at night, "out of sight, out of mind".

A good night vision, motion activated, battery camera might work as long as your own horse wouldn't set it off all night!
I think the OP's plan is to get proof, not just deter the thief.

When I was there one of the trainers and someone from the office broke the lock off a boarders tack locker and found all kinds of stolen stuff - now that's proof!

Jul. 7, 2010, 09:40 PM
baysngreys: thanks for the kind words about Tally, she was a special horse. Lost her suddenly to a broken hip:cry:

We are having a boarders meeting this week and the increased thefts are on the agenda. Most of us have an idea of who it is but without proof there is nothing the police or management can do until the theft is witnessed. Theft had gone down recently, which was nice, but seems to be on the rise again. I love the facility, but unfortunately also being in the middle of a public park that draws people in is not the greatest situation. I get what I can in neon pink (love pink anyways!) and everything is labeled with a permanent marker in obvious view, but sadly things manage to still walk away. I had a brand new tail bag vanish in the hour my friend left it for me at my stall to when I arrived. Who would want a cow print tail bag? :winkgrin: Hay, Shavings, feed, and other supplies are often fair game after the local feed company delivers them. The facility is closed and locked down between 10pm and 6am. Management is on site 24 hours a day, and they have caught people in the past trying to break into trainers tack rooms during the night. No more godzilla size rats either. The bigger issue seems to be fellow boarders. I'm not out to capture the thief, but proof would be great if they try to steal my stuff. I'll look into some of the cameras and other ideas everyone has posted, thank you!!!