In this month’s video, a group of males were roaming a parking lot tugging on vehicle door handles. They didn’t know we were watching and called police.
Just after three o’clock in the morning, multiple people were seen trying to access cars parked at a Houston-area apartment complex. The group made their way around the parking lot, wandering in between the vehicles. A Stealth Monitoring security operator was watching and contacted local police. Within minutes, officers were on the scene, patrolling the property.
Car break-ins are a common issue at parking lots and garages across North America. Opportunistic thieves look for easy targets. An unattended or unmonitored parking facility at a multifamily community can be an easy target, especially at night. Lots of cars left alone for hours at a time.
One by one, police officers questioned the trespassers, which put an end to their illicit activity.
Are Break-ins an Issue at Your Property?
With more people staying home these days because of COVID-19, vehicle larcenies have been on the rise. An NBC news report stated between January first and the middle of May 2020, car crimes rose 63 percent in New York and were up 17 percent in Los Angeles, compared to the same time in 2019. Other jurisdictions in the United States also reported increases.
Proactive Security Measures Can Help Deter Criminals
Because no property can be 100 percent crime-proof, you can encourage your residents to be vigilant and smart to lessen the likelihood of becoming a victim. This includes making sure:
- All vehicle doors are locked
- Windows and sunroofs are closed
- There are no valuables left in plain sight
- Vehicles are never left running, even for a few minutes
As a property owner or manager, you know there are things you can do to help keep criminals at bay. This includes:
- Enhancing lighting around the property and in the parking facility
- Maintaining trees and shrubs so they don’t create hiding places or block cameras
- Controlling the entrances and exits to all access points
- Installing a video surveillance system
To elaborate on the last point, security cameras can go a long way to help deter criminal activity. The mere sight of cameras can often be enough to keep unwanted visitors off your property. However, that’s not always the case.
Live video monitoring is a proactive solution that combines advanced video technology and human intelligence. Trained security operators monitor live, analytics-based cameras, to watch for activity in real time. If they see anything suspicious, they can activate an on-site speaker warning at the trespassers and call police, just as you saw in the video.
Because operators are watching crimes in progress, police typically escalate the priority level of the call. This increases the chances criminals will still be on the property when officers arrive.
Break-ins and theft can make your residents feel unsafe. This can become a retention issue if problems like this aren’t dealt with. It can also deter potential residents from selecting your property.