Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

Arlo Pro 2 security system. Theives can disable system for a period of time

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Guide
Guide

My camera's were up and running and some theif was able to point something at the camera's and disable it for a period of time.  Enouth time to break in to my vehicle and rummage through it with out detection.  Showed him come up to vehicle look at my camera and point something.  The other camera that was turned on froze at same time he disabled other camera.  Contacted Arlo support but they don't have a clue and don't have the ability to share your video with them so they can see and understand the problem.

 

 

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Retired_Member
Not applicable

Could you tell what it was that he pointed at the camera? A flashlight, laser pointer or somether similar?

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Guide
Guide

No unfortunatly you can see what it is.  I tried with a flash ligh but it just brightened up the video so wasn't that.

 

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Guru Guru
Guru

A light can blind the camera but not disable it.

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Luminary
Luminary

@Woodro wrote:

to point something at the camera's and disable it for a period of time.   The other camera that was turned on froze at same time he disabled other camera.  


Can you clarify if you got any video recording during the time they ransacked your car? Or did the video recording stop the moment they pointed something at the camera? I'm wondering if they sprayed something at the camera that eventually evaporated or ran off the camera. If so you woud get a video recording of some duration. 

 

More questions, you mention they "disabled" the two cameras, can you explain what you mean by disable? I ask because maybe they were recording video but if they sprayed something on the lens the video wouldn't show anything.

 

If you have video, download them (there is a link when you view the videos in the library) so you have them before the 7 days runs out and they are erased (free plan?). 

 

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Guide
Guide

Okay if you could see the video you would understand a lot better.

The guy walks between vehicles and trips off the camera motion sensor.  He is about 15 feet from camera.  He then pulls something from his jacket and then looks like he is pointing something at the camera.  few seconds later the camera stops recording.  I have another camera that points to the same area form a different location. That camera is set to record for 72 seconds.  When he froze the first camera by pointing something at it. it froze the other camera.  It recorded for 27 seconds but froze after 7 seconds.

Never had a video of him leaving or nothing.  He rummaged through vehicle for a fair bit by the looks of my truck.  When I went out in the morning the sensors went off.  I hung out for a bit and it video'd me the whole time.  The night time recording isn't the best with the Arlo cameras for clarity but you can see him doing something while starring at the camera.

There is no doubt he had something to disable the camera from recording.  Nothing was sprayed on the camera or anything like that.

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Master Master
Master

Can you post the video?

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Luminary
Luminary

@Woodro wrote:

 

There is no doubt he had something to disable the camera from recording.  Nothing was sprayed on the camera or anything like that.


OK, thanks for eliminating the possibility of the suspect doing something physical to the cameras especially if the second camera stopped recording too. It's got to be something simple, it's hard to believe someone rummaging through vehicles for lose change, sunglasses, various odds and ends would have a sophisticated disabling device. Plus what are the chances they happened to have something that could specifically disable Arlo cameras. Also the fact that recording stopped rather than recording but the image sensor temporarily blinded by something really bright.

 

Did the cameras work normally after the incident? No permanent damage done by whatever was pointed at the camera?

 

Is the second camera linked to the first so motion on the first camera triggers recording for 72 seconds on the second camera? 

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Guide
Guide

Okay I will try to post the video but its mp4 and your system doesn't allow it.

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Guide
Guide

Yes my Camera's seem to be working fine now.

 

The second camera is linked to the first so motion on the first camera triggers recording for 72 seconds on the second camera? 

It has always worked as it should and recorded the full length and is now working that way again.

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Luminary
Luminary

On the posted videos, getting "This video unavailable". Is the video set for public or private viewing?

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Guide
Guide

Okay try again

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Initiate
Initiate

It disabled both cameras?  Maybe it was a portable wifi jammer.  A small one could disable the wifi within several yards.  The cameras would still record but the video would not make it to the base to upload to the cloud.  This may or may not make sense depending on how the videos you have look and may depend on how Arlo camera's internal buffer works.  I would guess the buffer stores an entire video and then uploads it to the base in its entirety.  If the recording you have "goes blank" but the timer keeps going then a jammer would make less sense. 

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Guide
Guide

You able to see the video yet?

 

 

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Luminary
Luminary

OK, videos are working. This is what I see in the 2 videos. A guy walks up between the two vehicles, he's pushing a scooter with handle bars. Your near camera is on night vision, your far camera probably on night vision too but I'm not entirely sure. When the guy reaches the right front tire of the car, the motion detection light comes on, the far camera freezes while it adjusts to the new illumination. The guy appears to feel for something under the right rear fender of the truck--hard to tell from perspective, other possibility is he's looking at something in his right hand. However to me it seems he's feeling under the right rear fender. Maybe checking for a magnetic key box?  I don't see him pulling anything out of a pocket or pointing. However there is a cilck sound. He only looks up after the motion detection light comes on. With the light shining towards him, it's unlikely he would be able to see the cameras in the glare. 

 

He stops moving so the nearest camera stops detecting motion and stops recording. At least that's how my cameras behave. I don't know if the second camera stops recording then too. On my setup, recording for length of time never did seem to work as intended and I just set everything to motion detection, when motion stops recording stops, even if the person is still in view but not moving. My cameras don't start recording when the person starts moving again so I get gaps in recording. Maybe it's the lag time while the camera is sending the first video to the base station then can't start recording again until the first video has been sent. That would explain why you don't see him leave or move afterwards. 

 

Some more questions, do you leave your vehicle doors unlocked or were you definitely broken into? The interiors of both vehicles were ransacked? 

 

The best answer is usually the simplest explanation mixed with coincidence. While it's possible, I think it's very low possibility he had a special device to remotely disable the cameras. It could also be the break-in and rummaging through the inside of the cars happened as a separate incident from this guy with the scooter. 

 

What do others think?

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Guru Guru
Guru

I'm with you. It's not at all clear to me that he's pointing with something or necessarily doing something to cause the video to jump like it does although he does seem to have something in his hand, like a cell phone. If he's doing something with that, it would seem likely that it's a WiFi jammer or other electronic tool (there are devices out there for unlocking doors without the need for your key fob). I'd think a jammer would cause pixelation and/or a complete drop of signal but a weak signal from it could be different.

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Apprentice
Apprentice
I don’t think the video necessarily shows that this guy used some device to disable the cameras. I think it’s more likely the cameras just lost the connection or malfunctioned during the incident.
Unfortunately these wi-fi cameras are not 100% reliable, as you can tell by the postings in the community forum.
Nevertheless, although not perfect, the cameras still have value because they act as a deterrent at least in some cases.
Just my opinion.
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Initiate
Initiate

Reviewing the videos, I doubt this is a wifi jammer.  More likely, if the perpetrator got into the vehicles during the camera reset time, nothing would be recorded.  He/she wouldn't set off the motion sensor while inside and probably if they exited out the truck's far door. 

 

In researching wifi jammers, it's scary how cheap and easy they are to obain.  Partly for that reason, I don't use the Arlo security signs. 

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Luminary
Luminary

@xtman wrote:

 More likely, if the perpetrator got into the vehicles during the camera reset time, nothing would be recorded.  He/she wouldn't set off the motion sensor while inside and probably if they exited out the truck's far door. 

 


Right, once inside the vehicles the motion detection wouldn't work through the vehicle windows, so no more motion detection. 

 

Woodro: Any chance you have a hidden key under the truck's right rear fender. The suspect seems to reach under there then there is a click like opening a key box. In anycase, you have a pretty good description of the suspect. Appears to be male, ___ ft/cm tall (use the rack on the truck to estimate the guy's height), baggy pants, parka-like jacket, toque, low slung, large backpack, riding/pushing upright scooter with handle bars. The night vision eliminates any colour though. 

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Guide
Guide

Looks like he did something to me.  The other camera freezing and stopping recording when it wasn't suppose to as well.  Co-incidence maybe but I doubt it.  The camera always records for 72seconds. 

 

I can say that these camera's are good for watching people take your stuff.  Well thats if the Camera's work when you want it to.  Couldn't acutally see him take anything.  Just see him say hi to the camera.  He is definately starring at the camera and is doing something.   Just good to know what it would be.

 

I should have spent the money for a non wireless system.  I was going to pay for the 24/7 recording but it seems like a waste of money if they can just pause it or shut it down for a while.  😕

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Guide
Guide

No Hidden Key.  It looks like he is reaching under wheel well with quick glance but it only looks that way with the position he is holding what ever it is.  My video is a touch clearer and upon close look its something in his hands.  He's just holding it low enough to make it look like its under wheel well.  Also pretty awkward possition by the way he's standing to twis his wrist around to feel in the wheel well.  Plus his hand is not moving around like hes feeling around the wheel well.

 

Just funny how it froze the other camera after 7 seconds and recorded for 18 more seconds and stops.  Not suppost to stop for 72 seconds so should have seen him move from that spot to the truck.  Co-incendence that it shut down for the burglery and never before..... Maybe?  I highly doubt it.

 

The camera's are cool and great for watching poeple or almost watching people steal your stuff.  Should have gone to a wired system.  Also going to add more lighting.  You would get a better shot of the theif with more light in that area.

 

Interesting Stuff I say.  Just goes to show how smart even the petty theifs can be.

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Luminary
Luminary

Regarding adding lighting, I've played around with night vision and with LED lighting. I replaced our spotlights with LED spot lamps from a big box hardware store, about CDN$16. The LED spot lamp is on a light senstive switch that turns the spot lights on dusk to dawn, the wattage consumption is really low, about 7 watts or the same as a night light or incandescent Christmas light bulb. I turn the night vision off on the camera and the resulting images are still clear and sharp. An option is to switch to LED bulbs in your motion spot light and leave your spot light turned on all night. The spectrum of the LED bulb seems to work well with the sensor in the camera. There are also IR illuminators if you want to run in night vision mode and not light up the neighbourhood. 

 

Slice of my view. 7 watt LED spotlight at night, night vision off. The neighbour's garage is about 40-50' away. The spot light is in the lower right corner. All the illumination you see is from the single 7 watt lamp screwed into a standard spot light fixture. 

LEDspot.JPG

 

 

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Master
Master

@Woodro

I am surprised that you didn't get any notifications, or if so you did not hear them.

Unfortunately, a couple of cameras do not truly secure your property. I purchased a Smartthings system several years ago and besides having the cameras I have all sorts of sensors that can trigger both outside and inside lights and many notifications if there is movement outside the house. These usually wake me up so that I can investigate what is going on outside. Also have video doorbells that trigger on motion and cameras inside my house pointing out through the windows that can detect movement. 

Having good security means having backup and redundant systems. Thank goodness he did not get away with much.

 

Brian

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Guide
Guide

Ya when I am asleep i'm out!! lol.  Rarely do I hear it.  Sometimes the Cat set it off so would get almost no sleep sometimes if I woke up everytime.  Definately setting up more lights so it gets a better picture of the culpret who comes around next.

 

All and All though.  The carmera's do a good job.  Just need to light up the areas really well.

 

Most of all LOCK YOUR DOORS. haha.

 

 

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Master Master
Master

What's your camera signal strength? Previously, some people reported shorter than set recording times due to signal weakness/interference

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