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November 4, 2010

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Car vandal caught by neighbor's camera

A LOCAL resident has caught the person who had scratched her car and punctured her tires on several occasions, thanks to the surveillance camera she installed herself.

Local lawyers said the surveillance tape could be used as evidence as long as the camera didn't violate privacy of others.

Police with the Tilanqiao Police Station in Hongkou District have started an investigation into the vandalism case using the tape.

The resident surnamed Li lives in a lane and usually parks her car there or on the road outside the lane. Her car has been damaged five times over the past year.

It has cost Li more than 30,000 yuan (US$4,491) in repairs to the car. But she failed to find the person who damaged her car.

She spent 2,000 yuan on a surveillance camera in September and installed it outside the window of her room. The camera pointed at her parking space in the lane.

On the morning of October 31, the camera recorded a man puncturing the tires and scratching the car. Li recognized the man easily as he lived on the other side of the street and had had disputes with her in the past.

Liu Chunquan, a lawyer from the Shanghai Panocean Law Firm, said the evidence can be used. "People are allowed to install surveillance cameras personally as long as they don't violate others' privacy," Liu said.

But those who install the camera to intrude in others' privacy will be ordered to remove the camera.

A man named Sun was ordered to pay 2,000 yuan in compensation to each of five women tenants last year for invasion of privacy after he installed four cameras in an apartment and rented it to them. He admitted to having watched tape recordings of the women without their ?knowledge.


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