Peoria Police Department Offers Tips to Business Owners to Avoid Robberies

By Tami Vigilante

The Peoria Police Department recently distributed pertinent information to business owners to help discourage crime at local businesses throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area. While the police department cannot prescribe a potion or cure-all to rid a business of robbers, there are ways to discourage them and to minimize the chances of violence through sound business practices and proper employee training. The tips below outline some basic robbery deterrents that can be practiced as a minimum line of defense.

• Stay alert! Know who is in your business and where they are.
• Also, be aware of suspicious activity outside your place of business.
• Don’t be afraid to call the police if you see something suspicious.
• Try to greet customers as they enter your business. Your attention can discourage a robber.
• Never block the view into your business by crowding windows with signs or merchandise.
• Use low display counters and cases to maintain visibility from both inside and outside the business.
• Keep all entrances, exits, and parking areas well lighted.
• Keep cash in registers to a minimum. Place large bills and excess money in a safe as soon as possible.
• Make frequent cash drops.
• Keep your safe locked at all times.
• Use two or more persons to open and/or close the business. There is better safety in numbers.

For additional crime prevention tips or to become a certified crime shield property, go to peoriaaz.gov/crimeshield.

Video Surveillance Cameras in Pool Areas Can Decrease Drowning Epidemic

By Tami Vigilante

As the temperatures rise in Phoenix when we enter the hot summer months, sadly so do the number of children that drown or have near-drowning experiences in swimming pools in Arizona.

Just last week, a 2-year-old girl drowned in West Phoenix after Phoenix firefighters pulled her from a backyard pool after she had been reportedly under water for five minutes. Neighbors had originally called 911 after hearing screams coming from the backyard area, where the pool had no surrounding fence.

Although many may correlate Centralized Vision’s real-time video managed services with preventing or solving crimes, we also monitor video surveillance cameras at a variety of apartment complexes or master-planned family communities that feature common-area swimming pools, clubhouses and entertainment areas. Some of our current clients include Park Place Condominiums in Surprise, Valencia Crossing Apartments in Mesa, Fountain Shadows Apartments in Glendale and Adora Trails, a Taylor Morrison master-planned community in Gilbert.

Although our video monitoring services are not a replacement for on-site lifeguards or parental supervision, Centralized Vision technicians in our corporate headquarters that monitor surveillance cameras at our client’s properties have the ability to visually see that rules are being adhered to by residents, such as no glass bottles or alcohol near the swimming pool. We can also make sure that residents are not using the pool after hours when there is no supervision and watch out for children or small animals playing near the pool area.

As a mom, it breaks my heart to hear of drowning tragedies on the news like we did with the 2-year-old girl last week. Hopefully, we can decrease the number of drowning deaths with more supervision and surveillance cameras and make swimming in the hot summer months in Phoenix more enjoyable for everybody.

Phoenix TV Station Discusses Surveillance Cameras with Centralized Vision After Boston Marathon Bombing

With the FBI and Boston Police Department reviewing every photo and piece of video footage they can gather from the Boston Marathon bombing tragedy on April 15, 3TV television reporter Jared Dillingham looked into the increasing role of surveillance camera video and how it is being used in solving various crimes.

Dillingham interviewed Centralized Vision President and Founder Tom Vigilante Jr. about how the Phoenix metropolitan area is increasingly being monitored by more video security systems. Centralized Vision recently expanded its video monitoring service center in Central Phoenix after growing its client base by 30 percent in 2012.

“It’s pretty safe to say that somewhere somehow you are being watched,” Vigilante told Dillingham.

The real-time video verification services provided on the more than 5,000 cameras Centralized Vision monitors in the Phoenix area has helped local police departments make a couple of arrests each month to protect its clients’ assets.

“Improving technology, dropping costs and improving crime fighting are giving more birds’ eye views of everything we do,” Dillingham said in the segment.

Hopefully, the presence of security cameras at large public gatherings, sporting events and office buildings will deter criminals from committing these devastating acts of violence in the future. Because of technology and enhanced communications methods, it is nearly certain they will be brought to justice.

Increase in Auto Inventory Could Lead to Potential Criminal Activity at Car Dealerships

By Tom Vigilante, Jr.

The current economic rebound has been great news for auto dealerships throughout the United States.

According to a recent J.D. Powers and Associates study, new cars and trucks sales are expected to reach nearly 1.5 million vehicles in March and experts are forecasting that 15.3 million automobiles will be sold in 2013.

Because growth in auto sales is outperforming earlier expectations, dealerships in Arizona are adding more vehicles on their lots to satisfy customer’s demands. However, an increase in an auto dealer’s inventory may also bring the potential of theft, vandalism and trespassing at dealerships.

Providing real-time video managed services for auto dealerships has developed into a core part of our business at Centralized Vision. With the addition of Earnhardt Cadillac in North Scottsdale and Desert Cadillac in Scottsdale as clients recently, Centralized Vision now monitors 16 auto dealerships in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

By providing remote-camera monitoring with real-time response actions, our technicians have been successful in capturing and arresting trespassers, graffiti taggers and thieves on the property of various clients, including car dealerships. Centralized Vision posts signs throughout our client’s properties to act as deterrents and if available, has the ability to utilize one or two-way audio speakers, to speak throughout the property with, to warn would-be criminals that they are being watched. Our service has proven to be a more affordable and efficient option when compared to other similar security options, with savings up to 85 percent less than the typical physical security officer.

As long as the economy continues to grow, people will continue to purchase big-ticket items like new vehicles. Centralized Vision’s service is designed to eliminate petty theft and vandalism and to ensure vehicles remain on the lot so auto dealers can meet consumer’s demands.

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 managed services or GPS monitoring, go to centralizedvision.com or call 855-888-8094.

Phoenix Police Arrest Metal Thief at Arizona Recycling Facility

A Centralized Vision technician noticed that a male suspect was trespassing on the property of Arizona Recycling Corp. after seeing him on video surveillance going through copper and other metal materials in cardboard bins at 8:45 p.m. on Feb. 13, 2013. The technician immediately called the Phoenix Police Department’s dispatch center and three units were sent to inspect the property near downtown Phoenix.

In the video, the suspect was spotted on Arizona Recycling Corp.’s property by the spotlights from a Phoenix Police Department helicopter. Phoenix Police confirmed seeing the suspect on property at 8:57 p.m. Five police officers, along with a K-9 unit, entered the property at 9:17 p.m. to search for the suspect. At 9:25 p.m., two officers can be seen on video escorting the suspect on the property in handcuffs.

The Centralized Vision technician confirmed with Phoenix Police Department’s dispatch at 10:29 p.m. the suspect was arrested and going through processing at a local jail.

Centralized Vision Adding More Space at Phoenix Corporate Headquarters

By Tami Vigilante

I read an article recently that said small business optimism levels were down during the last quarter of 2012 after reports from the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) showed slow sales were holding back job growth and expansion plans.

Whether these reports were true or just political propaganda surrounding Election Day in November, I can honestly say we are not seeing any signs of slow sales at Centralized Vision. We grew our revenues 30 percent in 2012 during our company’s fifth year of existence. My husband, Tom, and I are optimistic about the video security monitoring industry because of the efficiencies and inexpensive costs we can provide our clients looking to enhance their security needs.

We are so excited about our future at Centralized Vision that we recently have begun expanding our footprint at our corporate headquarters in Phoenix. We have already started construction on adding 400 square feet of office space that will house our new tech center, allowing us to increase to a total of six work stations for our techs to monitor our clients’ properties and assets from. Each tech can comfortably monitor 40-50 clients at each work station while also completing online logs from our centralized location that is manned 24 hours a day.

Construction will be completed during the first half of February, allowing us to serve the many clients we will be taking on in the near future. If we keep growing at our current rate, we will probably have to add additional space in a few more years.

Hopefully other small businesses in Arizona and throughout the U.S. will be able to say the same in the near future.

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. 1717 West Northern Avenue #200. Phoenix, Arizona 85021

Centralized Vision is adding an additional 400 square feet of office space for the company's new tech center in 2013.

Scottsdale Police Arrest Metal Thieves After Video Surveillance Capture at Vacant Auto Dealership

By Tom Vigilante, Jr.

A large portion of our client base at Centralized Vision that we provide video surveillance monitoring for are auto dealerships throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area. Overall, we provide remote-camera monitoring with real-time response options at 14 car dealerships in Arizona.

The dealerships have a variety of reasons (theft, trespassing, vandalism) of why they would need a company like ours to routinely monitor closed-circuit video cameras on their properties at various times throughout the day. However, a technician at our centralized tech center noticed suspicious activity after seeing two trespassers on camera recently at the vacant Infiniti of Scottsdale dealership we monitor in Scottsdale.

As you can see while watching the video, the cameras we monitor caught two suspects climbing over a locked gate on the property. After numerous cameras on the property provided detailed video images of the two suspects collecting copper pipes and other metals, our technician contacted the Scottsdale Police Department’s dispatch operator to alert local authorities of the criminal activity.

Within five minutes, one Scottsdale police officer was at the property, and another unit arrived at the auto dealership shortly after. Later in the video, the police officers can be seen arresting the suspects and also locating a bag of metal objects the criminals stashed on the property. The Scottsdale police officers were in contact with our technician to verify they were apprehending the correct people.

Although we usually see people trying to steal copper and other metals from recycling facilities we monitor, this video capture is proof that any crime can be committed on the property of various types of businesses.

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.

Centralized Vision Tabs Casey Casdorph as Company’s 2012 “Tech of the Year”

By Tami Vigilante

My husband, Tom, and I have seen incredible growth for our company in the video security monitoring industry since starting Centralized Vision five years ago. In 2012, we grew our revenues more than 30 percent and expect similar growth in 2013 as well.

The main ingredient that has allowed our company to grow exceptionally fast is the family atmosphere we created at Centralized Vision. We have a group of dedicated employees that are passionate about their jobs and understand the importance of protecting the assets that Centralized Vision is contracted to monitor for our clients.

However, Casey Casdorph stood out among all of the employees at our company this past year and was named Centralized Vision’s 2012 Tech of the Year.

Casey Casdorph
As a tech working from our centralized tech center at company headquarters in Phoenix, Casey monitors closed-circuit security feeds from surveillance cameras located on the properties we manage for our clients.When seeing suspicious activity through the camera surveillance monitors on his computer screen, Casey logs the activity in our computer system and can use a variety of methods to deter the suspect from committing a crime, including dispatching local law-enforcement authorities to the property.

In 2012 alone, Casey captured seven suspects on camera either trespassing or stealing from properties we monitor. One incident included a naked male trespasser near a trash dumpster behind a West Phoenix shopping center that attracted the attention of the Phoenix Police Department and its police helicopter hovering above the property. Video surveillance Casey captured from the incident was broadcast on local Phoenix television stations 3TV (KTVK-Ch. 3) and Fox 10 (KSAZ-TV, Ch. 10) during their nightly newscasts in October 2012. Casey also captured suspects steeling copper and other metals on video from a recycling facility Centralized Vision monitors in 2012.

Casey started working for Centralized Vision in July 2011 and focused on Information Technology while earning an AA degree from Phoenix College. He plans to pursue his Bachelor’s degree in the near future.

Congratulations Casey on being named Tech of the Year and providing deterrents and services to make the community safer for our family and others to live in.

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.

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.

Centralized Vision Camera Monitoring Leads to Copper Theft Arrest at Phoenix Recycling Facility

After a Centralized Vision technician noticed suspicious activity while monitoring surveillance cameras at a Phoenix recycling facility around 6 p.m. on October 27, 2012, he alerted the Phoenix Police Department about the incident. As the tech zoomed in with the security camera, he noticed the trespasser in the bottom-right corner of the screen was wearing a light-colored bandana over his face and a dark hat while he was removing copper metal from the facility.

At 6:13 p.m., Phoenix Police arrived at the facility and five officers along with a K-9 unit were allowed on the facility’s grounds to look for the suspect. As the officers and K-9 looked for the suspect on foot, camera surveillance showed a Phoenix Police helicopter shining its lights from above trying to find the suspect. At 7:14 p.m., Phoenix Police notified the Centralized Vision technician that the suspect was found and arrested.

Metal theft has become an epidemic in Arizona since the economic downturn started in 2008. Law enforcement agencies blame the trend on a combination of the unemployed seeking items to sell for cash and drug addicts looking to finance their next score. Insurance claims arising from metal thefts rose nationwide by 81 percent during the last three years compared with the number of claims filed from 2007-08, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

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