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Old 10-27-2013, 05:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Dash Cameras and Theft

I am considering getting a dash cam. Let's just say that I often encounter people who drive like idiots in ways that should I hit them for their senseless driving habits, they would be able to argue it was my fault based on the outward appearance of the scenario. Based on the types of cars, they likely have the money for a lawyer to back up their claims as well. As an example, if I leave even just a car length in front of me waiting to get onto the highway rather than continue on (as intended for the other lane) someone will zip to the front of the line to get onto the highway in their BMW/Audi/Mercedes and merge into the single car length of space that I have left at the last possible second and then immediately slam on their brakes to prevent hitting the car in front of them. If I hit the car that merged, the driver could easily argue that I was at fault for rear-ending them without any proof on my end that they gave me no time to react (and I wouldn't count on there being any eyewitnesses willing to stick around since this is often during rush hour for work). So, there's the benefit of having a dashboard camera.

The detriment of having a dash camera:
Some clever thieves have been reported to break into cars near a stadium during a major sporting event (or other similar situations with a determined end time), steal the garage door opener and the GPS, navigate to "Home" on the GPS, open the garage door and steal whatever looks good before the end of the sporting event. I never mark my home location as "Home" in my GPS as a simple precaution for this situation.

I think the dash cameras that I can find on sale pose a similar threat. None of the dedicated dashboard cameras that I can find seem to have any safeguards or precautions for storing data and preventing thief from stealing the camera (or just pulling out the SD card) and having your entire driving schedule logged for the past hundred driving trips with timestamps (and sometimes GPS locations for the more expensive models) for which they could do even more devious things than presently possible with just GPS information. That is... unless you plan to remove your dashboard camera and take it into every establishment with you (which would basically mean I would probably forget to hook it up the one time an accident does happen).
That in mind, the cameras with good picture quality (both night and day) are not very overly concealable and might simply be a theft target themselves. I know this scenario is a little far-fetched, but I want a dash camera that deals with just the scenario I need and doesn't pose additional risks regarding thieves or other potential expensive scenarios.

Does anyone have any thoughts or know of any cameras/solutions that I have not yet found that would alleviate my concerns?
Examples:
- Some form of encryption on the SD card
- Wireless connection between the camera and a separate black box that actually does the recording and could be concealed elsewhere in the car
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Best bet is to have the camera mounted in a non-visible location while allowing for the lens to pick up the views.

Have you seen this: Ultimate Dash Camera Buyers Guide (Car Cameras) - Car Cam Central

Or: http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-dash-cam/
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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"Home" on my GPS is not set to where I live. In the same township is adequate for my needs. The very reason you cited is why I set it up that way.
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Old 10-27-2013, 11:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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"Home" on my GPS is going to take them to the State Police barracks near my home.
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Old 10-28-2013, 12:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen1959 View Post
"Home" on my GPS is going to take them to the State Police barracks near my home.
Good one.
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardoc View Post
Best bet is to have the camera mounted in a non-visible location while allowing for the lens to pick up the views.

Have you seen this: Ultimate Dash Camera Buyers Guide (Car Cameras) - Car Cam Central

Or: The Best Dash Cam | The Wirecutter
Thanks for the links. I had seen the second, but not the first. I was primarily using Dash Cam Comparison | Dash Cam Talk as a shopping guide (which more-or-less presents the same information). If you're looking to spend ~$200 on a camera at the moment, everyone pretty much recommends the Lukas LK-7900 ACE as the best bang for your buck as a reliable small camera with good image quality. One thing I do like about the dashcamtalk site is that they show examples of each camera being mounted in each car. Basically, the typical mounting place behind the mirror still seems to make the camera very visible in the car:


Cameras like the Mini 0801 do seem to be a bit more discrete, but still, if I were to become a car thief I would look behind the mirror for a camera to quickly grab.


The only other thing that comes to mind to "discretely" mount a camera is to put some large dashboard "toy" on my dashboard, carve out the insides, and put the camera inside of it. Does anyone have suggestions on any more discrete mounting locations or methods to address theft of the data the camera contains that would not require me to consistently remove and replace the camera or memory card every time I get in and out of the car?
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