It seems that there is a growing problem of public camera vandalism. There have been two recent instances in the news where public video surveillance systems were damaged. The first happened right here in metro Atlanta and was reported by the AJC:
The most recent incident happened in Maryland as reported by NBC News:
The driving incentive for these thieves appears to be copper wiring theft. Copper prices are still fairly high so the criminals are looking for ways to gather copper for recycling. These thefts are impacting the operations of municipalities around the country. As wired and wireless surveillance cameras become more popular, the opportunity for theft increases.
As mentioned in the NBC News article, there are ways that cameras can be protected. The lesson here is that it is important to think about cameras both as a device that can protect and as a device that needs to be protected.
-Scott Hightower, Verified Security