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.

Video Can Help Tempe Police Nab Beating Suspect


By Tami Vigilante

A male suspect who thought he got away with a crime after beating a defenseless 20-year-old male Arizona State University student in the elevator of a popular residential building in downtown Tempe now must try to evade local law enforcement agencies.

Because West 6th Tempe has video surveillance cameras monitor various areas of their high-rise residential building located just west of Mill Ave. near ASU, Tempe Police now have video footage that clearly identifies a 6-foot white male with short brown hair in his early 20s relentlessly attacking the male victim in an elevator on the property around 2 a.m. on Oct. 6. The victim was knocked unconscious and had an earring ripped out of his ear by the suspect. Tempe Police are seeking the suspect on aggravated assault charges because there is such severe damage to the victim’s face after sustaining numerous facial fractures. Tempe Police have released video footage of the crime to local media agencies to assist them in asking people to help them identify the suspect through their Silent Witness program.

If there had not been any video footage, the Tempe Police Department would have had a hard time trying to solve this crime because it happened early in the morning when nobody else seemed to be around the building to offer information as a witness. That is why Centralized Vision has been so beneficial to our customers by providing real-time video verification services to our clients. We have various properties who use our services to monitor their cameras within the elevators in their parking structures. Not only can we act as a deterrent by catching thieves in the middle of a crime, but we can also capture footage of a serious crime and work with law enforcement authorities to track down the suspects.

Hopefully, you will agree with me that we can make our community safer as more businesses and property management companies use video monitoring to prevent crimes like this from happening in the 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.

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