Can I Get A Witness ?
Liar, Liar,…. Pants On Fire….
By Mike Lipshultz

It is hard to go into any business nowadays with out being captured on their surveillance system.  And with the world the way it is, can you blame a business for wanting to protect themselves?

But who is going to protect you?... Protect you?  Yes, what if something was to happen in that business that harmed you and it was the fault of that business?  Do you really think they would make their surveillance tapes available to you?

Well sad to say that there is no shortage of business owners, managers, and so on that not only would not make those tapes available, but will tell you that somehow the recorder did not record the incident, or the tape was accidentally lost and so on.  And these not so fine folks will also have no problem claiming that what you claimed happened never happened or give some other excuse that you are wrong about what happened to you.

What if you are not in a store, but getting out of your car in a parking lot?  And just as you start to walk away someone hits your car?  You see the car and the driver and get the license number.  But the person that did it claims you got the wrong person?  How do you prove it?  It happened so fast you did not have the chance to turn on your cell phone camera.

Now think about it… Have you ever had a time when you would have loved to have a recording of a conversation, or a video of something that happened.

Well if your answer was “yes” !! Then I agree with you.  And that is why I have been playing around with what I call personal Video Surveillance Units or Personal Video Recorders.

I bought a few “cheep” units off of Ebay, and the good folks at Swann ( sent me one of their PenCam Mini Video Cameras that look just like a nice writing pen.  If you are wondering about how they work, then see the write up we did on these units.  But in short you get what you pay for.

In the case of the Swann unit versus a similar looking unit off of Ebay.  Well both looked good.  Both took a good Video.  But that is where it ends.  Do yourself a favor and get the name brand unit from Swann.

Now for a really important warning!!!!  You can wind up in jail or getting your Butt sued off for recording someone without their knowledge!  So before you do it, make sure you know the law in your area or where you will be using these recorders.

Take this warning seriously.  I have been accused of breaking the law using a recorder!  I have been in court with a judge ruling the recording was done legally.  I was OK because I knew the law for where I did the recording.  But had I crossed the line… Man I do not want to even think about that.  But I do not regret making the recordings.  Because they proved me right and the other person wrong.  Gee, maybe that is why the other person was so damned pissed about the recording being made……

And now back to our story….

Of the different “styles” we played with, the “Pen” style was the easiest to use.  It looks just like a Pen.  Just clip it in your shirt pocket, or on the side of a purse strap or even just about any place you would clip a Pen, and you are ready to go. 

The others we played with were one that looked like a extremely tinny camera, one that looked like a lighter, and one that looked like a car remote.  But in usage you have to place these on a surface or hold and aim them when using them.  Just not as user friendly as the “Pen” styled one.

As such I ended up using the Swann “Pen” styled one the most.  I could turn it on with just two pushes of a button, and keep it going for around 90 minutes.

I would turn it on when getting out of my car and start recording.  If something happened.  Bingo.  “But Officer, I do not expect you to take my word over theirs.  I have a recording of it.  See for yourself!”.  Or “Well your Honor, I can prove that I am telling you the way it happened.  If you watch the recording you will see exactly what happened”.

And I can tell you from experience.  A recording can make all the difference in the world.  So do yourself a favor and get one.  Even if you do not need it right now, I can assure you that one day you will feel a lot more comfortable knowing you have it.  And you will find “ways” to use it!

So go get yourself that “Witness” today!
Never worry about proving your side of things!

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Last modified: December 04, 2012

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Editor: Tyler Harwood, Mike Lipshultz