Phoenix man installs cameras; surprised by amount of criminal activity near home

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

A Phoenix man says he never realized all the crime happening right outside his front door until he installed some new surveillance cameras.

Three times in the last three months, Clayton McKee’s cameras have caught guys rummaging through his stuff late at night. In one case, a man ran off with McKee’s gas-powered hedge trimmer.

“I’ve seen a lot that I didn’t know was going on,” McKee said Friday as he played back video of the incidents.

The most recent incident happened early Thursday morning. The video shows a man with a goatee-style beard and hooded sweatshirt trying to enter homes and open car doors near Central Avenue and Camelback Road.

Police later arrested the man. Phoenix Police Sgt. Alan Pfohl confirmed a man was cited and released.

“I would have had no idea if I wouldn’t have awakened to an alert on my phone that said somebody has been in your carport. That could have been going on every week for the 15, 16 years I’ve lived here – I have no idea,” he said.

Not only do McKee’s cameras record video, like many on the market they also do motion detection. The system allows him to set up perimeters on the screen, so he can get alerts sent to his cell phone whenever -- for example – someone enters his carport, while ignoring cars that drive down his street.

Last month, he got one of those alerts and went to investigate.

“The guy is standing here going through these cabinets, looking for something of value,” he said.

McKee shouted and the man took off running. It appears to be the same man who stole his gas-powered hedge.

“I was furious! I was like how dare you come back!” McKee said.

In both cases, the man was driving a light-colored pickup truck. He has not been arrested.

Even though he’s seeing crime he never knew existed, McKee says he feels safer.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Derek StaahlDerek Staahl is an Emmy Award-winning reporter and fill-in anchor who loves covering stories that matter most to Arizona families.

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Derek Staahl

This once-uncompromising "California guy" got his first taste of Arizona in 2015 while covering spring training baseball for his former station. The trip spanned just three days, but Derek quickly decided Phoenix should be his next address. He joined CBS 5 and 3TV four months later, in August 2015. Before packing his bags for the Valley of the Sun, Derek spent nearly four years at XETV in San Diego, where he was promoted to Weekend Anchor and Investigative Reporter. Derek chaired the Saturday and Sunday 10 p.m. newscasts, which regularly earned the station's highest ratings for a news program each week. Derek’s investigative reporting efforts into the Mayor Bob Filner scandal in 2013 sparked a "governance crisis" for the city of San Diego and was profiled by the region’s top newspaper. Derek broke into the news business at WKOW-TV in Madison, WI. He wrote, shot, edited, and presented stories during the week, and produced newscasts on the weekends. By the end of his stint, he was promoted to part-time anchor on WKOW’s sister station, WMSN. Derek was born in Los Angeles and was named the “Undergraduate Broadcast Journalism Student of the Year” in his graduating class at USC. He also played quads in the school’s famous drumline. When not reporting the news, Derek enjoys playing drumset, sand volleyball, and baseball.

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