By the time August began, cities around the country were experiencing heatwaves with record-high temperatures and cloud-less sunny days. For the citizens of one British Columbia town, it was tempers that flared and nearly reached a fever pitch. The reason? The quaint city was growing frustrated with a seemingly never-ending crime wave. Criminals were stealing bikes, tools, breaking into houses and in one case, swiping an entire home. One family’s tiny mobile-style property was taken from their front yard, much to their bewilderment. The dwelling was fairly large and required special equipment to move. Luckily, an eagle-eyed neighbour spotted it about a half-hour away.
The strange theft was just the latest in a series of bold moves by area crooks. In fact, residents are getting so overwhelmed they’ve taken to forming their own online group to try and locate the endless amounts of stolen property that is resold or dumped. Things have gotten so bad that the community’s leader has had to quell talk of violence on a daily basis.
Such experiences are unfortunately not unique. Property crimes like break-ins and home theft are among the toughest mysteries to solve. The main reason for this is because burglars leave very little evidence. Many wear gloves and limit the amount of time they remain inside a property. Additionally, the vast majority of crimes take place during the middle of a weekday when most families are at school and work. This is made even more challenging during the summer when a good chunk of every neighbourhood is away on vacation.
Most in the town do not report having a video surveillance system. In fact, most images and recordings of the thieves were captured by wildlife cameras in a nearby park, which were meant to spot wild animals that may stray too close to town. Families who have these devices are more likely to apprehend a thief because police can use this footage to confirm an identity. In fact, detectives will often ask neighbours for their footage if a victim does not have an alarm system. Sadly, only about 13% of these incidents are solved.
Some may assume that this particular town is troublesome and dangerous. Not so. Unfortunately, with property crimes like burglaries, a single perpetrator can cause a huge amount of damage. If caught, many crooks admit to targeting multiple homes in a single day and dozens per week. Often, the first thing they will look for is a modern alarm system. With their loud alerts and quick response times, most criminals will ignore homes which are armed.
Without these preventative devices, any neighbourhood can become victimized. Areas with summer crime waves can happen virtually anywhere and unfortunately the ability of police to capture and stop these preparators is dropping. Criminals are becoming more sneaky and tech savvy, monitoring social media to see who has the latest gadgets and which families will be away for vacation.
To protect your family and have a stress-free vacation, call 1-866-282-3331.
Small business owners are some of the busiest people around. Not only do they have to oversee all aspects of their company, but they must also manage their staff, property and products. Each day is jampacked with activities and decision making. Likely, the last thing on their mind is property security. Yet these businesses are some of the most commonly targeted by burglars and thieves.
Here’s why every business owner needs to prioritize safety products:
- Profit Margin: Many burgeoning organizations operate with smaller cash flow. Though they may be highly successful, business owners are likely to invest extra funds into growing the business. This means that a stolen shipment, box of product or other property damage can hurt their bottom line more than a larger corporation’s. A small investment in safety now can mean a huge sigh of relief later.
- Targeting: The majority of business burglaries target-independent shops, factories, and other similar ventures. Why? Sadly, they are less likely to employ sophisticated safety measures or have a busy location. Many will rely on a simple lock and nothing else. Even more alarming is that many of these companies are targeted multiple times by the same thief.
- Entrance: Do you have a key card system for entering the premises? A security guard? An office in a large downtown building? For most small businesses, the answer is no. Most are likely to have either a receptionist or key system. Both are problematic. An admin employee cannot be responsible for building security as this is a potential liability. Keys are expensive to cut and difficult to replace. Unless you are willing to change the full lock system every time an employee leaves the company, your building is unsecure.
- Cameras: Not everyone believes they need a video surveillance system. While they may not have expensive items on-site or a warehouse full of products, today’s devices are useful for so much more. Most importantly, thieves may not realize that little cash or valuables are on hand. They may damage the property just by searching. Shockingly, much crime is committed by internal staff. Employees may steal items during their shift or after hours. Video evidence is solid proof for investigating officers.
- Injury: If a person injures themselves on company property, the owner might be responsible for the accident. However, in recent years multiple incidents have shown that staff can abuse this process. Video cameras have captured employees and customers faking slips and falls in order to obtain a cash settlement from the owner. Insurance companies are now encouraging businesses to install devices in order to record what really happens.
- Peace of Mind: Small business owners are never really “off the clock.” Though they might be on vacation or away from their office, their thoughts are likely never far from the organization. Today’s smartphone-controlled cameras can allow individuals to monitor their property wherever there is wi-fi. This can be a huge relief for professionals who wish to quickly check on operations.
To learn more about wireless video surveillance options and other alarm systems, call 1-866-282-3331 or visit our website.
As social media popularity explodes around the world, so too does the use of these platforms for criminal activities. For most, it’s simply a way to keep in touch with friends and family from around the globe. Because of this, many are eager to share their thoughts, stories, and photos without considering how these details can affect their safety. For instance, a parent may proudly post pictures of their toddler at home, in the park, and at various events. Through these images, any viewer can likely determine their address, schedule and perhaps even the layout of their home.
Recently, a group of sly thieves employed this technique to conduct an Ocean’s 11-style heist in a wealthy city neighborhood. The men began by monitoring online photos of homes to determine which residents owned pricey art or other valuables. While photos inside a house may intend to highlight a group of friends, cooking success or pet, a collection of images can provide a thorough list of household valuables.
After finding out which areas had costly sculptures and paintings, the crew watched their accounts to view any upcoming business trips, family vacations or parties. Alarmingly, the group even attended events that were publicly referenced on the homeowners’ profiles. This allowed them to get an up-close view of the pieces they planned to steal and determine the best layout through the home.
Prior to the actual theft, the men conducted trial runs around homes and in some cases, broke in multiple times and wandered the property. Each member of the gang had set roles and through their devious organization were able to steal priceless paintings including a piece by French impressionist Claude Monet, whose other work hangs in galleries around the world and another worth $400,000.
Police were finally able to catch the bandits after going public with details and photos of the stolen items. Though not every household will have similar high-end collectibles, the startling event should serve as a reminder to the dangers of social media. Though the user’s intentions may be innocent, crafty criminals are able to compile a disturbing amount of details about an individual from their public profiles.
In addition, police also used the incident to warn the public on the common practice of burglars: closely monitoring homes before a real attack. Though victims may not realize it, crooks usually watch a property prior to a break-in to better understand the inhabitants’ schedules, the best point of entry and the level of activity in the neighborhood.
Though an alarm system can eliminate much of these threats, it’s always prudent to exercise caution. After all, the art thieves brazenly attended events at their victim’s home and could have easily swiped smaller possessions during this time. In addition to this, insurance companies are becoming more aware of the dangers of online oversharing. Businesses are already talking about monitoring a customer’s profile in order to determine their rates and ability to file a claim.
Overall, a private approach is the best – and safest – attitude for the online world.