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.

Eye in the Sky Can Deter Metal, Air Conditioner Thefts

By Tom Vigilante, Jr.

While hot temperatures in the Phoenix area kept most of us indoors during the summer months, some local business owners were unable to keep cool after a number of crimes involving the stripping of air conditioners occurred throughout the Valley.

Recently in Peoria, a band of suspects went on top of a strip mall on Bell Road and removed the parts from 11 air conditioning units. The removal of copper pipes and wiring, backflow vales or anything else with scrap value cost the business owners thousands of dollars in repairs and lost business.

For all of the trouble they caused to others, the criminals received a couple hundred dollars for the metal on the black market.

In 2011 alone, the Phoenix Police Department reported more than 3,000 air conditioning units were dismantled, destroyed or stolen all for their metal – and especially their copper parts. Metal theft has become an epidemic 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.

Local law enforcement agencies are doing their best to track down metal theft suspects and bring them to justice. Some agencies have metal theft task forces and have formed alliances with neighboring cities to stake out and deter criminals from disabling air conditioning units.

At Centralized Vision, we are a deterrent to the recent trend of air conditioning and metal thefts by offering real-time video verification services with monitoring by our team of technicians 24 hours a day. Centralized Vision technicians visually monitor our clients’ property in real time and can dispatch security or law enforcement officers to prevent a crime from occurring. Some of our clients even have one-way audio speakers near video cameras on their property so our technicians can speak to the perpetrators and let them know they are under surveillance. If a criminal does leave the property, we can immediately send video and photo images of the suspect to local law enforcement agencies for an immediate response.

Some of our clients include auto dealerships, retail centers, recycling facilities, office buildings and warehouse distribution centers, and they all have seen a decrease in suspicious activity on their properties.

I always hear from our clients about how happy they are in pro-actively investing into our services at Centralized Vision. It’s definitely a more affordable investment than losing thousands of dollars and an interruption of business if your company is a target of metal theft.

Tom Vigilante, Jr. is the President & Founder of 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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