Man Stealing Fresno School’s Surveillance Cameras Caught Quickly by Police

The thief was surrounded before he could leave campus after the monitoring station watched the entire incident unfold.

FRESNO, Calif. — A man who tried to steal video surveillance cameras from a Fresno middle school overnight on Thursday wasn’t even able to step off campus before he was surrounded by police and apprehended. And it’s all thanks to the same cameras the man was trying to steal.

Fresno Unified School District’s (FUSD) central monitoring station watched the entire scene unfold from its 24/7 operation 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.

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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.”

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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