A Crime of Passion
How a timely security upgrade foiled a languishing thief
Love often drives people to do some crazy things.
One man, Larry J. Hopkins, tried to steal his
way into a woman’s heart. On March 14, he
entered Carroll’s Jewelers in Doylestown, Penn. After
more than two hours of looking at various engagement
rings (i.e., waiting for the right moment), he palmed a
$47,000 three-carat diamond solitaire ring in a platinum
setting, one of the most expensive rings in the store,
when the salesperson’s back was turned. Within two
minutes, he was gone—and the salesperson didn’t realize
the theft until a few minutes later.
Joel Robinson, the store’s owner, told a local newspaper,
“Nothing this valuable has ever been stolen from the
store in its nearly 50 years of operation. The last theft
from the store occurred more than 15 years ago.”
Unbeknownst to Hopkins, there was a reliable eyewitness
capturing his every move. In a lucky twist of fate, a
few months prior to the incident, Access Security Corp.
of Warminster, Penn., a provider of integrated security
systems, had upgraded the jewelry store’s legacy CCTV
system, which consisted of a 10-year-old time-lapse
VCR system linked to four analog cameras. The system
had been replaced with an Exacq Technologies hybrid
NVR and two megapixel cameras from IQinVision.
With the old system, the cameras would not have provided
sufficient resolution to allow law enforcement
officials to positively identify suspects, even at only 50
“The store’s surveillance system clearly needed to be
replaced,” said Roger Shuman, marketing manager of
Exacq Technologies. “Access Security has a history with
the jewelry store, as they installed the existing system.
When they were ready to replace the old technology,
they were urged by Dan Cogan, president of Access Security, to use megapixel cameras.”
“Using existing infrastructure was important to the
client,” Cogan said. “The exacqVision hybrid NVR system
was chosen because it allowed us to integrate the
existing analog cameras with the new high-resolution
megapixel cameras from IQinVision.”
A Solid Match-Up
With the exacqVision NVR, a true hybrid digital video
surveillance system, up to 32 analog cameras can be
used and 64 IP cameras can be connected per
exacqVision server, at all resolution modes and compression
formats. The system supports the leading IP
camera manufacturers and remote viewing, an important
feature for a jewelry store.
A powerful feature of exacqVision is exacqReplay,
which provides instant playback of video from any camera
simply by right-clicking in that camera’s window
panel and selecting the desired time segment, up to the
last 15 minutes. This is a useful tool to assess alarms, as
well as to quickly review something that just happened.
The video or individual images can be easily exported for
e-mailing, printing or burning to a CD or DVD.
“IQinVision’s IQeye megapixel cameras were selected
for their high-quality images and because they complemented
the existing analog cameras best,” Cogan
said. “After surveying all the cameras at the ISC West
show in Las Vegas, IQinVision products stood out the
most. The company also has a longstanding history.
We’ve been in business for 37 years—we know we’re
going to be around so we want to make sure the companies
we do business with will be around as well.”
An IQeye 753, a high-resolution, color, day/night, 3.1
megapixel network camera, was aimed at the highest
dollar merchandise—the engagement rings and diamonds,
while the other IQeye camera, the IQeye 511, a
megapixel camera that delivers high-speed IP video and
enhanced low-light performance, provided a wide-angle
view of the store.
It was the IQeye 753 that provided the critical surveillance
video that led to Hopkins’ arrest. The video
clearly shows a white man in his 50s with salt-and-pepper
hair, wearing a navy baseball cap with a tan trim, a
black leather jacket, blue jeans, a polo shirt and wireless
glasses, holding the ring and quickly covering it with his
fingers. Access Security exported approximately 10
minutes of video and still images to a CD for the police
“Our system uses a proprietary and standard AVI format,”
Shuman said. “The nice thing about our format is that
it creates a self-executable file that will run on any computer
without the need for a special type of media player, an
important time-saving feature for law enforcement.”
Two days later, Hopkins was apprehended.
“With our old CCTV system we would not have been
able to catch this guy and our ring would be gone,”
Robinson said in a press release.
With such solid evidence, the Exacq Technology NVR
and the IQinVision cameras did more than help return
an expensive ring to a store and hold a thief accountable
for his crime—an unsuspecting woman would’ve
most likely been engaged to a man with a criminal history,
and her finger would’ve been adorned with a ring
that’s not a symbol of love and commitment but of
thievery and deceit. Instead, the object of Hopkins’
affections—who was not named—returned the ring
and dumped him.
Hopkins pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 111/2 to
23 months in the county prison. In addition, he was
ordered to complete two years of probation and undergo
a mental health evaluation.
According to a local newspaper, when the prosecutor
asked Hopkins why he did it, Hopkins
answered, “For love. I loved her so
much that I went out of my mind.”
This article originally appeared in the November 2008 issue of Security Today.