A tense confrontation between a homeowner and a suspected thief was caught on video thanks to a network of 32 cameras currently monitoring his close-knit neighborhood in Southeast Portland. The cameras are being used to deter criminal activity and as evidence if necessary — but the police aren’t behind the surveillance system.
Bob Spiker Jr. says he used some of the inheritance money he received from his late father to set up the cameras, which monitor nearly every inch of his neighborhood. He said his dad taught him that he has a responsibility to look after his neighbors on “their piece of earth.”
Spiker’s cameras captured an early-morning exchange between himself and a suspect who was apparently stealing people’s mail. With a handful of mail already in his hands, Spiker is seen on video confronting the man with his pistol drawn and pointed directly at his head.
The would-be thief was clearly petrified and ran away as Spiker kept his gun trained on him as he retreated.
"It's all caught on camera," Spiker said. "What are you gonna do?"
Fed-up with car prowlers and property crimes occurring in the neighborhood, some people welcomed the network of security cameras. Other people reportedly had privacy concerns, but even some of them came around eventually.
Watch the report from KOIN-TV:
“It makes us feel a lot safer,” one neighbor told the news station. “If there’s anything that happens, you can just ask him and he’ll go back and run the tape and see if he can find out anything.”
Police also said the cameras are a big help to them as the footage can be used as evidence if they need to investigate a crime in the neighborhood.
As for the suspected thief that Spiker chased off, he was arrested just down the street from the scene on a probation violation and possession of meth.