In Season 3 Episode 4 ("Green Light") of Breaking Bad, Hank is able to determine what Jesse's RV looks like by pulling footage from a gas station ATM camera:

enter image description here

Click for original size
It was my understanding that most ATM security cameras did not continuously record, unless the recording was invoked by nearby motion, keypad presses and other things like card inserts (unless they were at a financial institution where they are more likely to be continuously recording).

I highly doubt a gas station ATM would be continuously recording everything, as it would have limited hard drive space and run out pretty quickly. It makes sense that Hank might be recorded as he goes right up to the machine, triggering the camera, but Jesse and the RV?

How feasible is it that this could actually happen?

  • Maybe someone was withdrawing money at that time. And some ATMs do record all the time (link 2nd answer).
    – Déjà vu
    Sep 18, 2021 at 5:13

1 Answer 1


Current ATMs can house cameras that can record DVD quality directly onto 64GB flash drives. At 4GB for every 2 hours of video, you can easily fit 24 hours onto a single flash drive. Standard procedure would be to rotate flash drives on a minimum of a weekly basis, so the owner would keep 7 flash drives on hand and mark one "Monday", the next "Tuesday", etc... So, at a minimum, any PD with a warrant, or a cooperating ATM owner, could go back at least 7 days and look at footage.

Back then, when the episode aired, it may have been less likely to store a camera's footage for that length of time. However, 24 hour tape machines have been in use for decades, typically recording every 3rd second, which produces those "stutter" movements you may have seen on older news footage of people getting mugged or something.

In conclusion, I'd say it's not probable, but it is possible.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .