Surveillance camera continued to record suspects who stole it

Surveillance camera continued to record suspects who stole it
Chad Earl and Charles Newman were arrested. (Source: Scott County Jail)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A wireless and app-activated camera, perched on a Scottsburg property, recorded the suspects who stole it -- and they didn't even know it was recording.

The owner received notifications and video of illicit behavior when the camera began recording.

On May 14, Rob Hickman reported the surveillance camera stolen and turned in the video to the Scott County Sheriff's Office. Hickman also posted the video on Facebook.

By the next day, Chad Earl and Charles Newman were arrested.

"It's simply a small Arlo camera that works on its own cell phone signal and works on a data plan," Hickman explained.

Hickman said about a year ago he set up the motion detection camera to keep an eye on his vacant property. He explained the camera never recorded any type of problem before this incident.

"I got 16 notifications and there was 10 second videos of the motion activated camera, so I thought let's go live," Hickman said.

While the thieves had the camera, Hickman could control it from his phone.

In one of the clips a man lighting a pipe is visible.

In another, the camera is perfectly placed in front of a cell phone with a glass screen. The reflection shows distinct art on the walls and a face in the lower corner. Hickman posted all the videos on Facebook.

"I was amazed by the response I got from people suggesting it may be this individual or that individual," Hickman said.

"Our residents here in Scott County pulled together and helped identify these individuals -- that lead to their arrest," Detective Jacklyn Shofner said.

The Scott County Sheriff's Office arrested Chad Earl and Charles Newman on theft and drug charges.

"I like to leave people alone and I like to be left alone," he said.

Hickman said he spent around $300 on the camera and it was well worth it.

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