Mysterious cameras have been popping up near one Phoenix High School and residents want to know who is taking pictures of their children. The cameras are attached to boxes on utility poles near Alhambra High School. They've gone up in the past few weeks. When you walk by chances are it snaps a picture of you, but why. It's a question that a lot of residents have been asking lately.
When the sun goes down, and the streets are dark, residents near 37th Avenue and Camelback might be seeing a flash from a camera posted way up high on a pole. It's taking pictures of pedestrians, not cars, and everytime someone walks by it goes off.
"There's no identifying marks on it, no serial numbers," said Johana Cipriani.
Cipriani says the camera starts flashing every time her daughter walks to Alhambra High for night school.
"Somebody needs to find out who is behind these cameras, and why are they taking pictures of not only my child, but every child who walks down the street," said Cipriani.
The camera may seem out of place, but one woman says she knows why it is there. She called the city to complain about vandals in the area.
"I called neighborhood services, and they are very active around here," said Doris Suter.
Suter has lived in the neighborhood for 51 years and since the camers went up a few weeks ago, she says crime has gone down. It's all part of the graffiti busters program, which credits the cameras for a 60% drop in graffiti and calls for service.
Still other residents worry about privacy, the city says it discard pictures of innocent people
"It's completely unnerving," said one resident.
Suter says she watches her neighborhood for crime during the day, but with extra eyes above watching the streets in the dark she feels a little more safe, even at night.
"Let them watch, it gives us some peace of mind," said Suter.
The City of Phoenix has 34 cameras operating throughout the city, each one costs about $6,000.