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.

Phoenix Fox TV Station Profiles Centralized Vision About Video Monitoring at Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Following a shooting at a medical marijuana dispensary in Tempe, Ariz. on Oct. 25 that left an employee hospitalized with life-threatening injuries while three male suspects were still on the loose, Phoenix Fox affiliate KSAZ-TV (Ch. 10) talked to Centralized Vision President Tom Vigilante, Jr. about how real-time video monitoring could help prevent similar crimes at other dispensaries throughout Arizona.

Fox 10 news anchor John Hook reported it is violence like what happened in Tempe that opponents of medical marijuana have been warning people about from the beginning. Hook stated that Arizona law requires dispensaries to have security, but some are wondering if it is enough?

In the segment that ran during the station’s 9 p.m. newscast on Oct. 26, Vigilante said medical marijuana dispensaries “are a cash-rich environment, not to mention an environment with a lot of marijuana.”

Although nobody can totally prevent someone from attempting to rob a dispensary, Hook stated that advance security systems like the services offered by Centralized Vision can help track down criminals or serve as a deterrent to prevent crimes.

“The goal is to get (the suspects) in the moment so we don’t even get that far,” Vigilante said. “A panic button might also come into play to where if a person feels threatened they can simply press a button, which can be monitored or received on our end by one of our operators. Combine that with live-feed video and the ability to look in in real time, you have a very powerful solution that increases the likelihood of capturing would-be offenders, thieves or criminals in those types of environments.”

FOX 10 News – Phoenix, AZ | KSAZ-TV

Music Awakening Seniors Suffering From Cognitive Disorders

By Tami Vigilante

A growing part of our business at Centralized Vision is real-time GPS monitoring and tracking. We can easily keep track of low-level criminals or locate a fleet of transportation vehicles by having our team of 24-hour support technicians monitor GPS tracking devices anywhere around the world.

But a significant portion of our GPS monitoring business has nothing to do with criminal activity.

Many of our GPS monitoring clients are assisted-living facilities that house seniors afflicted with cognitive disorders, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Because people may suffer memory loss or be disoriented, having those that suffer from either of the disorders wear a GPS bracelet allows our company to locate them if they wander away from the facility.

Currently, there are more than a million people with dementia or Alzheimer’s living in assisted-living facilities throughout the country. Centralized Vision adds another level of security and safety to protect loved ones living in such facilities. But there are other organizations that offer various therapeutic options to improve the quality of life for people spending the remainder of their lives in these facilities.

One of those organizations improving the quality of life of seniors afflicted with dementia and Alzheimer’s is Music & Memory. Started by social worker Daniel Cohen six years ago, Music & Memory’s mission is to improve the quality of life for the elderly suffering from cognitive disorders through the use of personalized music and digital technology.

I learned about Music & Memory when the organization was featured on an episode of “The Doctors” recently. On the show, they told the story of an older gentleman named Henry living in an assisted-living facility and being unresponsive to most things because of dementia. He didn’t recognize family members and sat in a daze most of the time. However, when he was given an iPod with his favorite songs to listen to, Henry came alive. It broke my heart to hear him talk about his favorite singer Cab Calloway and to hear him sing a few lines from Bing Crosby’s 1943 classic “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”

The therapy Music & Memory provides helps seniors suffering from cognitive disorders remember who they are and helps reacquire their identity after listening to their favorite music on an iPod. You can help the non-profit organization allow seniors to relive their younger years by donating a used iPod or giving as little as $49 to assist them in purchasing new iPod Shuffles. Log on to www.musicandmemory.org to learn more about how to donate used iPods or purchase new ones and to watch the video segment from the recent episode of “The Doctors.”

Keeping seniors living in assisted-living facilities safe and secure is important. But making sure those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s have an improved quality of life is something we all can contribute to.

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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