software for using webcam for capturing evidence?

My roommate SUV have been tampered with last night (taken out for a 3 mile ride somewhere) and this is the second time we could notice any use of the SUV beside our own. luckily, the living room window is close enough for me to be able to use a webcam to record a night whenever I need to.

However, the issue is trying to find the free software for this. I’m wondering if there is any such program that could record “selectively”? for example, it would not save anything to the hard drive unless there is enough of a change in the images being captured to be saved. (to avoid having to save a massive file to the hard drive each night and deleting them if unnecessary).

We have already filed a police report on this this morning but since there is no obvious evidence such as damages to the truck or items being stolen, the police can’t pursue this. which is why I’m hoping to catch the criminal red-handed. if the person get away with this and end up causing my roommate to lose her SUV, she would go homeless in a short order since she can’t keep a job without the SUV.

I’m also worried since there is some suspicious drug activities going on in the building next to mine so I’m hoping that the SUV is not being used for that purpose.

don´t know if there is a program selecting the changing content out but why do you want to save so much data. there are workarounds :
recording on black white (guess color data is not important, security cams don´t record it either) with a decent resolution and frame rate won´t produce that much bytes. Besides u can tell the taskmanager (execute - > taskman) or equivalents to delete the data every week or so. 1 terrabyte is 80 Dollar or so ???

Well, actually they do /can do. Night recordings dont, since they are based off of IR light so most just stay b/w and focus on image quality ^^

Geez…I hate thieves. You could always electrify the SUV door handles at night :slight_smile:

Seriously, if you have a LOT of patience, you could probably use the program Eyesweb, which is open-source, to program a system together. Eyesweb has modules for handling motion detection (or change in motion), and you could probably hack something together that tells Eyesweb to only spit out video data to a file only when the pixel-matching algorithms are triggered a certain way. It’s all node based, in fact I can more or less visualize at least the output system right now, but the motion matching is the hard part. If you decide to try it, I’ll give you any help I can (I am using it to slowly develop an interactive green screen ride).

PS- at the time of writing this, the link to their site seems to be down. I can always host a temporary mirror for ya…

i’ve messed around with this program before:

You use your webcam and it will only record when there is motion. I believe you can adjust the threshold too so it doesn’t capture just a little motion.

I was just wondering, was there any signs of forced entry or hot wiring on the car, or were the keys used?

Does your roommate take Ambien/Stillnox? Just something to consider. Good luck with it.

the only spare key was lost. I suspect that somebody wiped the key somehow and are using that key for the drive.

My roommate only takes some painkiller like Tylenol. No weird medicine or anything.

Linuxpimp21, I wouldn’t mind using that software except that I only have WindowXP on my laptop. (Though I’m waiting to see what the Animux is going to be like). I don’t want to put linux on my laptop until I can get my hand on some external hard drive for the storage space.

CJ Maynard, PM me with the info on the software Maybe I can’t get the motion thing in control but it would still be good as long as I can make it so the video data still have enough details while still being able to provide 8 hours + video and still fit in less than 70 GB of space :slight_smile: I know that some softwares uses a whole lot of memory to saves videos and whatnot.

:notes: update, I’ve added a cable lock and locked the steering wheel to the lever under the front of the seat (for moving the seat back and forth) so I don’t mind waiting till later for the cam software but it will need to be soon since my roommate can’t remember to use the lock every night and I just don’t feel as safe in the apartment place until we can catch the culprit in action.

The SUV is NOT stolen but there is a very high possibility. seems like the culprit is just using the SUV for some unknown purpose and tried to make it so the truck looks the same when back home. We are also worried about the SUV being used for transporting drugs and the like since there is some suspected dealing going on in the neighborhood around here. Tomorrow, I will stop by the landlady office and inform her about what happened so she can do something about the person (hopefully evict them if they are the resident of this complex) if I can catch them on cam.

The easiest way IMO is to simply setup the USB cam.
Get an Infrared Spot (DCC chips are highly IR sensitive, so you will get a daybright recording which lacks color but the thief cannot see the light unless he can see in the IR spectrum ^^)
For the recording use VirtualDUB (we had this one before ^^) you can set the framerate there. Simply set the recording framerate to 1 or 2 FPS or something then you can store a vide of a whole night without problems. I did this before. afterwards convert the video to a 60 or 120 fps video and you get a quick video of the whole night.

If this fails for some reason, get a notebook with livelinux and gps receiver and simply google for “linux gps navigation” there are lots of free tools, and then simply record the position of the car, or if you got mobile internet access run a host and pipe the coordinates there, so you can watch where the car is… you can check the coordinates and write a comparison script if the car gets moved and sound an alarm… oh well not much sense for you with that… but something that alarms you. Then you can call the police and simply tell them where the stolen car is.

You could also try getting one of those.

I’ve got a wheel lock - it’s not the safest but the flashing light is a deterent.

I would except that we don’t have any spare money for the lock or anything. which is why I’m trying for the free alternative like catching the person in action on the cam I have.

No worries. What I learnt the hard way is if you spend $39.95 now for a cheap deterent, in the longer term it may save you $450.00 (plus the time and other un-quantifable costs).

Ofcourse as you stated, you don’t have the money to spare to get these, another option is to visit the cheaper second-hand stores for something in the interim. Catching someone in the act will lead to misery in relationships. Mayhaps there is someone acting suspiciously your close circle.

And I feel for you, living in an area of ill-minded people. Mayhaps John McCain can provide a solution.

well the only peoples even slightly close is 1 neighbor and we know that it is not them. I know what you mean by the security cost being less than what it would cost to replace or repair whatever it was supposed to secure, I’m a bit of a cyclist so I know about having to get good lock for that reason. I just simply do not have any money at all. not even enough for the bus pass to whatever store might have the locks for me.