Real-Time Video Monitoring Could Deter Car Thefts at Phoenix Shopping Malls

By Tom Vigilante, Jr.

With Black Friday and the holiday shopping season fast approaching, Phoenix’s ABC television affiliate recently aired a segment on their evening news about the number of car thefts at Valley shopping malls.

According to research done among car thefts at Phoenix-area malls from September 2011 to August 2012, ABC 15 (KNXV-TV, Ch. 15) reported that Metrocenter in Phoenix had the most occurrences with 84 cars stolen on its property during the 12-month time frame. Arrowhead Towne Center in Glendale ranked second with 56 thefts, Arizona Mills in Tempe was third with 33 and Desert Sky Mall in Phoenix was fourth with 31. Car thefts for other malls included Tempe Marketplace (12), Scottsdale Fashion Square (5), Mesa’s Fiesta Mall (5), Mesa’s Superstition Springs Center (3) and Chandler Fashion Center (2).

The National Insurance Crime Bureau reports that New Year’s Day is the leading holiday for reported vehicle thefts, while Christmas Day repeats annually as the holiday with the fewest reported cars stolen. The NICB reminds drivers to be alert during the busy holiday season by parking in well-lit areas at shopping centers, keeping packages in the trunk or out of sight and making sure vehicles are locked while parked.

Although Phoenix led the nation in auto thefts in 2002, NCIB data now ranks the Valley 60th among 366 metro areas in car thefts. According to the Arizona Republic, the decrease in car thefts can be attributed to the creation by the Arizona State Legislature of the Arizona Automobile Theft Authority, which trains police officers, provides funding for prosecutors dealing in auto-theft cases and issues bait cars to lure thieves.

While the decrease in auto thefts in the Phoenix metropolitan area has decreased significantly, there is still work to be done to prevent additional displeasure for car owners in the future.

Centralized Vision provides pro-active protection of properties and assets by using remote-camera monitoring with real-time response actions for companies, including strip malls and shopping centers. We have a technician at our corporate headquarters monitor closed-circuit video cameras throughout parking lots and closed-off areas of various shopping centers 24 hours a day to prevent car thefts, trespassing and personal attacks.

When our technician views a crime being committed on camera, he or she can immediately alert local law enforcement to dispatch police officers to the property, and even provide them with a photo or video in real time to track down the suspect. Some of our client’s CCTV cameras are equipped with voice response features, allowing Centralized Vision technicians to warn a suspect they are being watched on video and deter a crime from being committed.

Although Christmas shoppers can take precautions to prevent their automobile from being stolen at Phoenix shopping centers, it is always a good idea for malls to invest in additional resources to make their customers feel safe during the holiday season.

Tom Vigilante, Jr. is President & Founder of Centralized Vision, which has offices in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Denver. For more information on real-time video verification services or GPS monitoring, go to centralizedvision.com or call 855-888-8094.

Dangers Associated with Autistic Children Wandering Away is Preventable

By Tami Vigilante

My life revolves around my two children.

Like most mothers, my day starts by getting them out of bed, making sure they eat breakfast and then driving both to school – hopefully on time so they are not late for their first class. After school, the daily tasks usually consist of getting Dayne to his flag-football practice or Tatum to her dance class while balancing time with their friends and making sure homework is done. And on the weekends, along with my husband Tom, we all spend time as a family doing various activities.

Knowing how much my children are a part of my life, it broke my heart to read an Arizona Republic article earlier this summer of how a mother lost her 9-year-old boy in Mesa, Arizona. Her son, Au-Juna, was struck and killed by a truck after wandering out on the freeway.

Two hours before being killed, Au-Juna was with his two brothers and sister having fun playing in the neighborhood. When Au-Juna didn’t return with his siblings to their Mesa apartment, their aunt, who was babysitting at the time, alerted the police he was missing. Mesa police spent an hour trying to locate Au-Juna until receiving a 911 call that a child was struck and killed on the U.S. 60 freeway – five miles from his apartment.

Au-Juna had wandered away because he was autistic.

Children with autism suffer from a developmental disorder that affects their social interactions, language and behavior, causing some to wander without a typical person’s sense of fear or danger. Parents must have an aura of constant vigilance to stay a step ahead of their autistic child. That is why in 2011, “autism wandering” became an official diagnosis in the United States with its own medical code.

That hour police and Au-Juna’s family spent franticly looking for him could have had a more pleasant outcome if they had an option of locating him with a GPS device. Those options are now available for parents to locate their autistic children.

Although our company, Centralized Vision, specializes in real-time video verification services to prevent theft and vandalism, we also offer various GPS monitoring devices that could quickly locate children with autism after wandering away from their home. Along with our partners at Adiant Solutions, we offer GPS devices that could be used as a keychain, worn as a pendant or bracelet or clipped to a belt. The same devices are also being used by seniors diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, so they can be located after wandering away from their loved ones or assisted-living facilities.

Our safety-certified operators that man our call center at Centralized Vision 24 hours a day are trained to quickly locate a person wearing a GPS device. The operators are also well-versed in communicating with local law enforcement or medical personnel to quickly administer any emergency.

The GPS devices are affordable with annual or monthly service plans to give anyone associated with an autistic child peace of mind if an emergency would occur.

A parent, teacher or care giver still can’t predict when an autistic child may elope. But if a child wanders on their own, now there are options to quickly locate them while being returned to a safe environment. And hopefully a number of situations like the unfortunate one that took Au-Juna’s life can be prevented.

That’s all a mother can ask.

Tami Vigilante is Executive Vice President & Co-Founder at Centralized Vision. For more information on real-time video verification services or GPS monitoring, go to centralizedvision.com or call 855-888-8094.

 

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