Surveillance cameras have played a role in these local cases this year:

A Williamsport, Md., woman was charged with filing a false police report in January after a video camera recorded her cashing a check during a 24-hour period she had told Washington County Sheriff's deputies she'd been kidnapped and held against her will.

Classes were suspended in February after someone spread mercury at Cardozo Senior High School in the District. The incident was captured on a surveillance camera, and three students are scheduled for juvenile trials this month.

A surveillance camera in a Rockville apartment building in March caught two men carrying out a heavy wicker footlocker from the building where Emily Cagal lived. Antoine L. Gatewood, was charged with slaying the exotic dancer, whose body, authorities believe, was in the trunk.

A Prince George's County police officer was recorded by a video camera mounted in his patrol car as he hit a handcuffed suspect with his metal baton. He was acquitted of assault in February by jurors who decided that the use of force was justified.

Security cameras caught the off-field action at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in June when several cars belonging to Washington Nationals baseball players were broken into while parked in a special lot. The thieves have not been caught.

Montgomery County police used the video camera at a Target store in Westfield Shoppingtown Wheaton to identify a suspect in a fatal gang-related stabbing in August. Police said the "cameras clearly show [Henry] Caballero" attacking the victim. He was charged with first-degree murder.

Fairfax County police pored over dozens of surveillance videos last summer before coming up with a suspect in the August killing of Virginia contractor Hak Bong Kim. The victim was allegedly slain by a day laborer he hired outside a convenience store; the two were spotted together on a surveillance camera.

When a 19-year-old man opened fire in the lobby of a building, killing one man and wounding another during a Columbia Heights robbery in August, a hidden surveillance camera recorded the crime. Malcolm Pearsall later pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.