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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Eye in the Sky Protects Holiday Shoppers

Thursday, December 15, 2011

This odd-looking contraption that looks like a guard tower mounted on a cherry picker is designed to intimidate would-be thieves at shopping centers and malls throughout the county.

The device, known as Skywatch, is being deployed intermittently in Santee by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department to protect shoppers during the holiday season.

The tower is equipped with a special camera that features a high-resolution lens that can focus on suspects who are prowling cars and record their activities. The camera can zoom in on vehicle license plates and, using night-vision technology, can also detect weapons and other suspicious items hidden in bags or pockets.

The Sheriff's Department, which has used Skywatch the past four years, plans to move it around to various shopping centers and malls through January 1.

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