Teenagers caught on camera vandalizing car; deputies say home surveillance is on the rise

A surveillance camera caught this teen vandalizing a family's car in Hephzibah. (WRDW-TV)

A surveillance camera caught this teen vandalizing a family's car in Hephzibah. (WRDW-TV)

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Friday, Nov. 2, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- A Hephzibah family caught a group of teenagers on camera vandalizing their car on Halloween night. Now, they're wondering if it could be a gang initiation.

Deputies say it's usually pretty easy to identify gang violence but much harder to catch gangs in the act. However, with more and more families getting security cameras, it's making it a lot easier.

On Halloween night, a group of teenagers marched up the Jones family's driveway and keyed their Expedition.

The vandals left a large "X" and the word "b***h."

Charlie Jones, the owner of the home, says, "What I really wondered is why we were selected out of all the houses in Sand Ridge?"

The vandal was caught in the act by Jones' video surveillance system.

The random act of vandalism made Jones think gangs may be involved.

But deputies say, since the kid wearing a hoodie in the video just scratched an insult, this case probably is not gang related.

"A gang situation, they would typically scratch the gang symbol on the vehicle because that's a way of claiming that territory," Sgt. Godden said.

But the good news in this case, gang related or not, Jones caught the vandals on camera.

"It's very helpful, I mean, it's a great investigative tool for us," Godden said.

And with modern, more affordable technology becoming the norm, it's becoming a lot easier to catch criminals.

With the technology that's available today, it's very cost effective. You're not going to be paying a lot of money to install this stuff," Godden said.

Deputies say video evidence more than doubles the chances of catching a criminal.

Which is exactly what Jones says he's hoping will happen.

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