Mysterious cameras mounted along St. Lawrence County highways; Massena Electric removes one for lack of authorization
Wednesday, May 30, 2012 - 2:23 pm

Closeup of one of the apparent cameras mounted inside a gray box and bracketed to a utility pole on NYS Hwy. 56 in Norwood. Photo provide by Michael Jay of Norwood.Closeup of one of the apparent cameras mounted inside a gray box and bracketed to a utility pole on NYS Hwy. 56 in Norwood. Photo provide by Michael Jay of Norwood.

By CRAIG FREILICH

At least half a dozen boxes that apparently contain cameras have been hung on utility poles in St. Lawrence County, and in at least in one case, without authorization.

The Massena Electric Department recently removed one of the boxes from a pole it owns.

The cameras, in substantial light gray boxes mounted on the sides of poles, reportedly have been spotted in Massena, Norfolk, Norwood, Raymondville, Waddington, Canton, DeKalb Junction, and in Malone, too, according to Michael Jay of Norwood.

Jay said even extreme close-up photos reveal no identifying markings or statements of ownership.

An engineer familiar with security camera technology said the cameras appear to be equipped with air conditioning and heating units. An antenna at the top of the box suggests radio transmission of images or other data.

Andrew McMahon, supervisor of the Massena Electric Department, said one of his crews spotted one on a pole in their service area, hanging “in the electric space and dangerous, mounted without our authorization,” and took it down.

He said he did not know the origin of the camera box, but said he thought it was “probably the feds, but that’s a hunch.”

State Police Lt. Kevin Boyea of Troop B said he has no knowledge of the cameras, their origin or their purpose. A spokesperson from National Grid had not yet responded to a request for comment by the time this story was posted.

Massena Electric’s McMahon said he has been working with Massena Police Chief Timmy Currier about mounting some cameras at intersections and at a playground, “so police can monitor those areas,” but he said that program has nothing to do with the camera his crew found.