Packing celluloid: Amishman uses camera tech to (hopefully) catch a thief

An Amish businessman in Lancaster County has turned the camera in the other direction in an attempt to catch a thief.

Apparently the culprit in question, likely assuming the Amish-owned businesses would be lightly protected, was brazen enough to break into the same four shops multiple times over a period of a few months.

One unlucky store was robbed on six separate occasions.

Knowing that the Amish owners, who disavow the use of violence, would be unlikely to use firearms (which at least some of them likely own) against an intruder, probably encouraged the thief as well.

At the same time, six times at one business??

Whoever the guy is, I’m wondering if he isn’t shooting for dumb-criminal-of-the-year award.  I mean, if you really want to target the Amish, it’s not like there aren’t any other shops among the 2,000-plus Amish-owned businesses in Lancaster County.

Six times in three months is not robbery, it’s an income stream.

Likewise, I’m a bit surprised it took so long to come up with a solution to such a frequently-recurring problem.  Maybe there were reservations about using the technology in this way, I do not know.  I imagine someone must have thought of it at some point earlier than 3 or 4 months into this guy’s steal-from-the-same-four-shops escapade.

In any case, thanks to one Lancaster Amish shed builder‘s idea to use a hidden infrared camera to catch the intruder on film, there is now an image of the thief, which the entrepreneur has handed over to the police.

And actually, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen Amish use surveillance technology (just the first time I’ve seen it used in such a manner).

An Ohio Amish acquaintance and contributor to my book once shared a still shot, taken by a camera strategically mounted on a section of some hunting land he owned (Read more about Amish and hunting).

The photo caused quite a stir in his community, since appearing in it was not the expected deer, but a bobcat.  It sounds like a similar type of camera was used in the above incident as well.

The idea of using such cameras as protection may be spreading.  You periodically hear of robberies of Amish businesses taking place, whether it’s of an honor deposit box at a roadside stand, or something more serious like these incidents.

Amish will maintain their non-violent principles, but the use of cameras by some may be a way to ‘fight back’ and protect their interests.

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    1. Eric, this is off-topic, but this picture might interest you and readers. 🙂

    2. magdalena

      I lived in a community where the (non-Amish) local store was broken into multiple times, and the escalating degrees of protection didn’t do much good. So how do they know it was the same person each time?

    3. I wondered the same Magdalena. Could be more than one person. In any case, if word gets out that Amish are starting to use cameras like this, it might discourage criminals that may see Amish businesses as easier pickings.

    4. Mike I wish I had the wide view of that photo!

    5. Sounds like a pretty non-violent way to deter the theives if you ask me. The buggy towing the car pic is too funny – and of course a horse was pulling the buggy. Love it!

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