Magazine

CCTV Puts Brakes on Vandal

By Dan O'Connell

Toshiba Security & Network Video helped crash the criminal aspirations of a vandal responsible for $75,000 worth of damage at Richard Chevrolet, an auto dealership in Cheshire, CT. Earlier this year, when the intoxicated vandal set about keying and slashing the tires of 46 Yukons and Suburbans, four dome video surveillance cameras linked to a digital video recorder (DVR) captured images of the crime.
Although late at night, the digitalized images were of such high quality that the dealership's salespeople easily identified the vandal as a local building contractor. The recorded video information was promptly handed over to police, who issued a search warrant for the suspect's house. After additional evidence was uncovered at the home, he was arrested and charged with a felony.
As a result of the vandal's subsequent conviction, Richard Jaffe, the President and Owner of Richard Chevrolet, not only received the full $75,000 restitution that the court ordered the vandal to pay, but also was able to return the $50,000 his insurance company had compensated him with for the loss.
A few months after the vandalism incident, Jaffe applied the search functions of the DVR to identify images of a long-time business associate stealing hubcaps off his cars: "He owned up the theft when I confronted him with the recording. What else could he do? He returned the hubcaps, but obviously, we don't do business with him anymore. It was very disappointing to find out it was him."
John Cronkite, a Systems Specialist for Tri-Ed Distribution in Milford, CT, engineered and designed the system. "Every component performed flawlessly, the upshot of which was a recorded image with the clarity and detail needed to make a positive identification," Cronkite said. "This crime serves as an example of why every business, large or small, needs video surveillance."
When it came to installing a video surveillance system to protect his lot, Richard Jaffe didn't go with a stripped-down economy model; he drove away with the security industry's version of full-featured high-performance utility vehicle.
"You need high-quality surveillance equipment, and that is not cheap," Jaffe said. "However, we recouped a good chunk of our investment by getting our deductible back."
Jaffe's installed system includes eight domes and fixed outdoor cameras, partnered with the Toshiba digital video recorder and strategically placed motion detectors. Computer monitors are networked to the DVR display images.
At the heart of the video security system is the Toshiba DVR. This 16-channel DVR offers detail-rich, high-resolution recorded-imaging prowess with recording rates up to 30 frames per second per channel, along with remote configuration, operation and video storage capabilities, as well as a hard drive disk storage space-saving compression technique.

Dan O'Connell is president of O'Connell Communications, Inc. He can be reached at dan@oconnelpr.com

Article Abstract from November, 2005




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