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7 On Your Side: Why home security cameras may not convict porch pirates

Why home security cameras may not convict porch pirates. (ABC7)

Porch pirate videos are a sign of the holidays , but security experts say many cameras aren't good enough to be used as evidence to keep those porch pirates in jail.

"We've actually had video where someone, you can actually see the person's face, clearly, but, the lady said, ‘hey, it wasn't me.’ That person got off scot-free because there's no time stamp." said Armand Lucas, owner of HomeRestored.com.

First common problem is the simplest: make certain your security cameras are even on. “ I find that maybe 20 percent of the time that most cameras are not recording and the customer just assumes its recording,” added Lucas.

Second: older cameras often show inaccurate colors, usually omitting the color red, creating doubt a defense attorney can exploit.

Third: make certain time code is imprinted and adjusted for daylight savings time - something many older cameras don't do.

"If you were to go back a few years, then you might need to go look and see if your system is analog or digital,” explained Surveillance Secure Vice President Rob Gazzolla. "The color, the definition, wording, characteristics on the face, all the level of detail can be picked up by all of these [digital IP] cameras."

This example video from camera manufacturer Axis Communications shows the difference between older analog cameras and modern digital cameras.

Simple consumer installed indoor and outdoor security cameras can run around $300-$400 once annual recording charges are counted. Professional installation of multiple cameras covering all entry points of a house could cost more than a $1,000.

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