“Crash & Smash” burglary makes it to ISC West


The burglar probably had no idea he was going to get caught breaking into a Michigan home, let alone become a feature at ISC West in Las Vegas last week.

But because the home had a “Crash & Smash Protection” enabled alarm system, that’s exactly what happened. Pinnacle Security and Alarm.com touted the recent incident at the ISC West show as a real-life example of the effectiveness of the technology.

Pinnacle Security provides Alarm.com’s “Crash & Smash Protection” through a partnership between the two companies, Pinnacle said in a press statement about the capture, which it released at ISC West. The exclusive detection technology is a system option, the company said.

Both Jay Kenny, VP marketing for Alarm.com, a technology provider of interactive security solutions based in Vienna, Va., and Stuart Dean, VP corporate communications for Pinnacle, an Orem, Utah-based summer-sales model security company, spoke to me at ISC West about the incident. They said it illustrates how well “Crash & Smash Protection” can go from alert to capture. “We’re going to do a case study on it,” Dean said.

Pinnacle in its April 7 release announced that Pinnacle’s “systems facilitated the capture of a home intruder in Benton Harbor, Michigan.”

It said the home’s “Crash & Smash Protection” enabled alarm system “notified Pinnacle Security’s triple-redundant monitoring facility of a potential incident in the home of Pearl Lewis. Police were contacted, and 12 minutes after the individual tried to enter the Lewis home, he was in custody.”

Kelly Walker, Pinnacle CEO, said in a statement: “This incident demonstrates why we are so passionate about what we do. Our mission is to help our customers secure the things that matter most, and this is a perfect example of that mission in action. Right now, an individual, a home and a community are safer because these technologies work.”

The term “crash and smash” refers to an attempt to disable the security system by damaging the panel itself, Pinnacle said.

Colin Murray, Alarm.com’s manager of strategic accounts, explained in a statement: “When the intruder entered the home, he attempted to disable the system by smashing the panel. With any other system this would destroy the panel’s ability to communicate with the monitoring centers, but with the Alarm.com ‘Crash & Smash Protection’ service, the event is recognized and a signal is sent, alerting the monitoring station immediately.”

Dean said the technology even won the praise of law enforcement, which he said is unusual because authorities don’t want to appear to be endorsing one product over another.

“It’s a great example of the public assisting law enforcement to keep township residents safe,” Brian Smit, detective sergeant for the Benton Township Police Department, said in a statement in the Pinnacle press release. “Twelve minutes after the initial alert, we had the individual in custody. The monitoring system alerted us the panel had just been disabled so we knew the suspect was likely still close. We responded, and an arrest was made swiftly.”