Thief Arrested After Trying to Steal School’s Surveillance Cameras

Police were alerted to the robbery by the same cameras that the man was attempting to steal.

A man who tried to steal video surveillance cameras from a Fresno middle school overnight on Jan. 21 was apprehended by police thanks to the cameras.

Fresno Unified School District’s (FUSD) central monitoring station watched the entire scene unfold from its 24/7 operation center and called police, as detailed in an ABC 30 report. Law enforcement surrounded the Tenaya Middle School campus as he tried to get away.

Douglas James, 49, of Bakersfield was arrested early Thursday morning. Police found the cameras inside James’ bag when he was caught.

The school board voted this past year to spend $3.5 million on lighting and surveillance cameras at high schools and middle schools in Fresno.

“Recently, we’ve upgraded all of our security cameras to high definition,” said FUSD Safety Manager Armand Chavez, “which has helped out tremendously.”

RELATED: Vandals Cause $75K of Damage to N.M. Middle School

Lt. Joe Gomez of the Fresno Police Department said the security measures are helping police catch criminals in the act.

“They think they’re not watched,” Gomez said of the criminals. “They forget we are in a society where everybody’s watched.”

“We catch just about all of them now,” Gomez later added.

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