Video monitoring pays off in pharmacy burglary

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

LIVERMORE, Ky.--Sometimes the synergy of the world of security is amazing and right on target, and all the players - the alarm company, the end-user, the police, and the bad guy, or girl, as the case may be - are in the right place at the right time. Such was the case when Ron Poole, owner of Poole’s Pharmacy in Livermore, Ky., got to work together with state police and his alarm company, to put a would-be burglar behind bars.

Poole got a call from his alarm company, Owensboro, Ky.-based Advanced Systems, around 4 a.m. on Jan. 15 to tell him that the intrusion alarm on the drive-through window at his pharmacy was going off.

Police said 25-year-old Holly Harris broke into the pharmacy through the drive-through window, setting off the silent alarm. Advanced Systems then made calls to Poole and to authorities. Poole was able to quickly peek in on his pharmacy via the Internet through his IP-based video surveillance system and confirm an emergency situation.

According to Bill Stewart, owner of Advanced Systems, Poole’s alarm system, a GE Caddx Networx system with a Golden State video and a custom built DVR, didn’t really do anything out of the ordinary. “These systems are designed to work this way, and in this case this one didn’t do - I don’t think - anything outstanding. It just did exactly what it was designed to do,” Stewart said. “The system is there for both protecting his assets from shoplifting and any incident that might happen with a customer. It records both audio and video. It protects him when he’s open or when he’s closed, like in this case. If he gets any kind of an alarm on the security system, he can log in to his stores and see what’s going on.”

Poole said after he confirmed the presence of an intruder, he went to join first responders, including arresting State Police Trooper Corey King, at the pharmacy, leaving his wife to watch the camera feeds from the store and narrate Harris’ actions to dispatch, who then relayed those movements back to Trooper King. “My wife got on there with the dispatch and was telling them, ‘Here’s where she is. She doesn’t look like she’s armed. She looks like she has some tools with her,’” Poole said. “[State Trooper King] is the one that really, really appreciated it. He said, ‘You know, that made a huge difference, knowing what I was going up against, that I was definitely going to be going up against somebody, instead of, “Oh, it’s probably just a false alarm.”’”

Stewart said that it is forward-thinking people like Poole who take a chance and embrace cutting-edge technology who reap the fullest security benefits. “He’s one of those technology people. Some customers are willing to invest in a burglar system because their insurance company says, ‘You have to.’ Some of them are willing to invest in the cameras because they want to be able to view it from offsite,” said Stewart. “The few that are forward-thinking enough to invest in a complete system like [Poole’s] get this type of response … If it’s possible today in a small community like Owensboro, Kentucky, there’s no reason this couldn’t be happening everywhere.”