Imagine installing a home security system with wireless cameras. You set everything up and test it. The system is working fine, so you’re comfortable that it will do the job. Months later, you get an alert on your phone suggesting someone is in your house. You bring up a live video feed and watch helplessly as a burglar rummages through your belongings looking for anything he can steal.
This scenario is not fictional. It actually happened to a Colorado woman who was out of town when an armed burglar broke into her apartment. She watched the entire thing unfold on her phone. Unfortunately, it took too long for her to reach local authorities given her location. The burglar escaped mere moments before the police arrived.
Police Have the Footage
It is unfortunate that the police didn’t arrive on scene just a minute or two earlier. Had the security system been monitored professionally, maybe the outcome would have been different. Nonetheless, police have the video footage recorded by the victim’s cameras. They are using it in their investigation.
According to Vivint, security cameras can act as a deterrent to burglary when criminals know a home is equipped with them. But even when they don’t deter, they are still a source of evidence. That makes them valuable tools in the fight against crime.
It is not clear if the burglar in this particular case knew that the home was equipped with cameras. Chances are he didn’t because this was an apartment rather than a single-family residence.
Making the Case for Professional Monitoring
There is no way to know exactly why this particular home was targeted. The victim and local police cannot even say for sure if the burglar knew the apartment was unoccupied when he broke in. There are just too many unknowns here. But the way things unfolded does make the case for professional monitoring.
A professionally monitored home security system is connected to a remote monitoring center staffed by experienced professionals. The moment an alarm is tripped, monitoring personnel spring into action. They immediately call local authorities and then attempt to reach out to the homeowner.
In the Colorado case, would professional monitoring have led to the police arriving more quickly? It is possible. According to news reports, the victim being out of town meant that it took her nearly 10 minutes to make contact with local dispatchers. Could a professional monitoring service have made contact faster? Probably.
The Same Burglary Without Cameras
You could obviously make the case that the victim’s home security system didn’t prevent the burglary. Nor did it allow police to get there fast enough to catch the crook. But does that negate the usefulness of home security technology to deter crime? Absolutely not.
Imagine the same burglary taking place without cameras capturing the incident. Not only would the homeowner be out some expensive jewelry and keepsakes, but there would also be less evidence for the police investigation. Detectives would have a harder time identifying the criminal and tracking him down.
This One Got Away
Unfortunately for the Colorado victim, this one got away. But one incident doesn’t tell the whole story. How many other criminals have been caught as a result of home security video footage? More importantly, how many burglars have changed their minds about hitting targets after seeing external video cameras?
Here’s hoping that Colorado victim gets justice. Here’s hoping her video evidence helps police identify the perpetrator, track him down, and put him in jail. Until he is apprehended, he is likely to continue burglarizing homes with complete disregard for his victims.