MOUNT VERNON — Potential burglars around Knox County should beware. Local law enforcement is cracking down on catching and arresting those who break into businesses and state-of-the-art security systems are aiding in the process of deterring burglaries as well. This has become apparent with numerous local incidences of burglaries being solved.
Donnie Richert, president of C.L. Richert Trucking, told the News he has experienced a few isolated burglaries at his business over the past number of years. He recently contacted Protection 1 Security Solutions who then installed a state-of-the-art security system at his business. Richert had put up numerous security lights on his property in the past, but this is the first time he has installed a security system.
Capturing movement with motion-sensor cameras is the first phase in the security process. A variety of cameras can be selected to link into the system. Richert opted for eight Samsung high-definition cameras posted around the perimeter of his property. “If there’s any movement within the size range, these will pick it up. These cameras will track you, will follow you and stay on you until you are out of range,” said Richert. The cameras are equipped with a 32-x optical zoom and are what Richert calls TPZ — they will tilt, they will pan and they will zoom — all in an effort to provide the maximum opportunity for identifying burglars.
Each of the cameras are fed into a monitor attached to the security system. Video feed from the cameras can be viewed independently or in groups on the computer screen. All equipment can be operated by battery backup and be capable of sending messages to a phone. The system incorporates all digital memory and is capable of storing two to three weeks of camera time in its memory.
“Notification is the big thing,” said Richert about the purpose of installing the system. Once a presence is detected on the security system, an e-mail message is instantly sent alerting any possible intrusion. “I can do everything remotely from my phone or from any computer I want. You can get as fancy as you want. You can almost arrest a person with these if you want,” he said. “I just want to know if someone is out there messing around.”
Alerts that are sent to e-mail will also identify what kind of alert is being sent, whether it is a break-in notification or a camera notification, much like what Richert describes as a customized ringtone. “This gives you a little more peace of mind,” said Richert. “At least you know you’ve done everything you can do shy of having a security guard.”
One local business which has experienced a few break-ins and has been successful in getting the suspects caught is Mount Vernon Hardware. Owner Joe Caplin has owned the hardware store since 2002. After two years in business, the hardware was one of six businesses broken into in one night, and the burglars were caught by the police department trying to flee from his property.
Caplin later installed an ADT alarm system which alerts him as well as the Mount Vernon Police Department when there is an intrusion on his property. Cages over doors and windows as well as additional lights were installed to keep burglars at bay. There was an incident in 2010 where suspects were caught attempting to break in at the hardware store and nearby at A+ Autobrokers. A third incident occurred with burglars being arrested after breaking inside and setting off the alarm system at Mount Vernon Hardware.
“I’m pretty confident with the system we have. ADT has been very responsive. And the police department has caught 100 percent of them. They’ve been caught every time,” said Caplin.
“It’s not that there is a rash, but there are always burglaries. It’s always an ongoing problem,” said Detective Cpl. Matt Dailey of the Mount Vernon Police Department. Investigation is still pending on a recent string of burglaries at area churches, according to Dailey.
“We work them aggressively and have solved several of them,” said Dailey of some recent burglary cases. “A lot of times when you solve one, that might lead to three or more other burglaries the same people have committed. By solving one, you may solve four or five.”
Suggestions that Dailey gives to businesses as well as residents to deter burglaries are to lock your doors, lock your cars, don’t leave items in plain view, befriend your neighbors and keep an eye on each other’s property. “If people see something that’s suspicious or completely out of place, they need to call the police,” said Dailey. “One problem is that we get calls long after the suspect has left, just to find out that it happened two days ago or several hours ago. The fresher the information we get, the quicker we can act on it.”
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