Omnitracs' Road Ahead blog

Caught Red-Handed: An Added Benefit of Video Safety

Everyone is familiar with using video to help improve driver performance and fleet safety. Whether it be road and cab-facing, road-facing only or a 360-degree view around a vehicle, video is paramount to understanding what happened at the time of a driving incident or for capturing mystery damage. But, it’s also important when theft occurs. Not just theft of products and materials, but theft of actual vehicles in your fleet!

Danella installs, maintains and supports our nation’s infrastructure. It is a Pennsylvania-based provider of world-class construction services to a broad range of utility and railroad customers. Integral to Danella’s success is its strong safety culture and Zero Incident Philosophy – all incidents are preventable. Supporting this safety philosophy is the SmartDrive video-based safety system (which has reduced speeding 40%, increased seatbelt usage 79% and decreased mobile device usage 29% within the fleet).

Danella recently experienced an added benefit to having video in its vehicles when the video was used to catch a man who stole one of the company’s trucks! 

“We would have lost a $20,000 truck and thousands of dollars of equipment – bags of tools, including several different sets of drills and power tools,” commented James Hensley, Danella regional safety manager. “Things could have been really bad after several of our company’s trucks were broken into and one was stolen.”

But, thanks to the company’s video safety system, the accused thief didn’t get very far.

“We were able, with the GPS, to pick up every single place where he stopped,” Hensley said. Deputies believe the driver of the stolen truck, Curt Hall, Jr., may have left some of the stolen tools at those stops. But tools weren’t the only thing missing from the business.

“He actually stole a full box of chocolate Twinkies and broke into the unopened water case and took a 20-ounce water out and was drinking it while he was joyriding around the county,” Hensley said.

Once Hall noticed the camera inside the truck, he tried to remove it, but the equipment is tamper-proof. “We would have been able to recover the vehicle without the video system, because we could have found the truck. But, without it, we would not have been able to identify him,” Hensley said.

After this incident, Hensley says he definitely recommends a video system, like SmartDrive, to other businesses with company vehicles.

*This article originally appeared on WAAY-TV, Huntsville, AL.