Investigators say the key break in the Mollie Tibbetts case, came from a home surveillance camera.
Businesses that sell them, said those cameras are growing in popularity as more homeowners hope to
protect themselves from crime.
Silver Hammer Surveillance owner, George Langabeer said that when he first opened shop 15 years ago most of his clients were business owners.
Now it is average citizens who make up his customer base. In the past decade, home surveillance systems have grown in popularity nationwide.
“When I first started doing this only shady people had cameras on their house, so if you had cameras you were being watched but now it is the complete opposite,” said Langabeer.
Bennington resident Dennis Nichols has almost ten around the outside of his home, the garage and inside his home.
“For the neighborhood and ourselves and our friends it's always good to know who's coming and going,” said Nichols.
He said within three seconds he knows if anything is going on around his house.
Not only are home surveillance systems helping the person who own them, but law enforcement as well.
“It's huge, it's the one thing that gives them evidence,” said Langabeer.
While Nichols mostly sees the neighbor, kids playing on his cameras he says he hopes he can help police keep his neighborhood safe.
“I think as a citizen if you have the ability to have those systems into place to do that, that should be part of your duty to provide that information,” he said.
And the advancement in the technology of these systems has helped police. Langabeer said cameras now are all HD and able to be recorded and be played back later, something that wasn't possible just a few years ago.
“What I sold somebody five years ago, might as well have been 30 years ago," he said.
Nichols says this makes him feel confident knowing he can help keep his neighborhood safe.
“A picture will tell everything, so you can help the authorities out,” he said. "Why not stop it and give them the justice they deserve."
Langabeer says while this type of video evidence is crucial in helping police, he sees people mostly purchasing cameras to either be proactive or reactive to crime, to keep an eye on their neighbors or to catch their neighbor's pets misbehaving on their property.