Have you heard about the dog who saved Christmas? That’s what a Seattle store owner is calling the Seattle PD K-9 who tracked down the burglar who stole $7,000 worth of merchandise from her store, Charley+May. Had the culprit escaped, the store would have had no merchandise to sell during the holiday rush and the entire business could have gone under, according to owner Lauren Formicola. King 5’s coverage of the break-in does not specify if the alarm system installed at the store was connected to a monitoring center or if it was a DIY set-up, but either way, the store owner had to go to her business at 3 a.m. to check out the situation. When she arrived, she saw the burglar loading up merchandise and then called police. When officers arrived, the burglar had taken off with the loot. Thanks to the K-9, the suspect was found and arrested.
This multi-step burglary response plan is common of non-verified alarm systems. Because a motion detector-based system can’t determine if a crime is actually in progress, business owners must decide whether to put themselves in danger by going to the property or risking a false alarm fine ($115 in Seattle). In most situations, the criminal is already gone by the time the business owner or other employee makes it there.
We recommend that all Seattle business alarm systems be verified. Making a business owner gamble with the security of their livelihood should not be standard practice for security companies. At stores we protect, we use video to determine if a burglary is taking place when an alarm is triggered. If it is, we dispatch police immediately.
For businesses, especially retail stores during the holiday rush, the protection of merchandise and property inside can mean the difference between a profit and a loss.