In the wee hours of yesterday morning, Operator Kris Etheridge received audio activations from faint banging and scraping at a Taco Time restaurant in Caldwell, ID, which were followed by much louder noises and footsteps. She dispatched Caldwell PD and while she was giving them the information, she was notified of a door alarm at the restaurant’s back entry. She continued hearing lots of banging and crashing. Officers arrived at the scene but were still waiting for backup as Kris continued hearing the suspect inside. Once the backup arrived, the officers forced the suspect out of the building. The suspect was not compliant with the police – even shouting that he wanted to speak with a lawyer first– until they threatened to send in the K-9.
The store manager later reviewed the camera footage and saw that the suspect originally approached the adjacent parking lot wearing business clothes, but then he went to the back outdoor area of the store and changed into jeans and a sweatshirt. He walked around to the front and began knocking on the front glass windows. He then took a glass punch to the front door and broke it in. From there, the suspect was apparently quite thirsty from his exertion and went to the soft drink machine to get a drink. Once his thirst was quenched, he took a large metal fire extinguisher to the office door where the safe is stored. He than began using the extinguisher as a battering ram but was unable to break down the door. The back of the restaurant was filled with extinguisher foam and glass.
The restaurant’s management team stayed the whole night following the arrest to clean up so that they could open for business in the morning.
According to the police report and news coverage, the damage inside the building also included a broken-out drive-thru window and a dented cooler door.
Police were unable to determine a motive for the rampage, other than the suspect’s apparent drunkenness. The suspect was booked into the Canyon County Jail on numerous charges, including burglary, malicious injury to property, possession of burglary tools and resisting and obstructing.
Check out some of the news coverage that the arrest earned:
Not long after midnight last night, Operator Kris Etheridge was notified of suspicious activity at a window and glass work company in Everett. Thanks to the motion viewers installed in the business’ parking area, Kris could see a figure crouching behind a large object. She dispatched Everett PD and notified the business contacts. Once the cops arrived, Kris could see them searching the area. One suspect was caught stealing gas from a truck and two more suspects were arrested on the property as well.
Video verification is a great security option for outdoor areas like parking lots and yards. We use special technology that sends a short video clip to our Verification Center when a motion sensor is activated, which allows our experts (like Kris) to determine if there is a threat or not. As you might imagine, false alarms can be pretty high in outdoor areas with motion detectors, with birds, bugs and cars causing multiple trips. After an arrest, the video footage can also be helpful for police and in pressing charges and identifying suspects.
Valentine’s Day has rolled around again, and for many people that will mean late-night runs to the Hallmark store and fighting over the last heart shaped balloon at a roadside stand. But what if there was an easier, more meaningful way to show someone you care?
Our Good Stuff Squared program spreads the love by donating $200 to the charity of your choice and giving you $200 to spend when you refer a new client. This Valentine’s Day, skip the chalky “Be Mine” candies and go straight for the good stuff…squared.
Fill out the form below with the information of someone you know who would be a good fit for our security systems, including access control, security cameras, panic buttons and more. Tell us your sweetheart’s favorite charity and we’ll make sure you get the credit once your referral becomes a customer.
**By Michelle Evans, Verification Center Manager**
False alarms are stressful, embarrassing and increasingly expensive. Many communities are facing proposed and actual cutbacks in their budgets and are enforcing false alarm fines. At Sonitrol Pacific, our goal is to partner with law enforcement and our customers to make the best possible use of the officers’ time, provide you with the best response time for valid burglary and emergency situations, and keep false alarms to a minimum. Presently, our valid dispatch (non-false alarm) rate is 16 times better than the industry average. Our target is to be at least 30 times better.
Minimizing false alarms will take all of us working together. At Sonitrol Pacific we are committed to the following efforts to reduce false alarms:
• A Sonitrol Pacific Customer Service Representative will visit your site and review your after-hours call lists annually at no cost to you.
• If you have a false alarm, we will send a Service Technician or a Customer Service Representative to visit you and determine the cause of the false alarm and work with you to ensure it does not happen again. There is no cost to you.
• We will provide free ongoing group or one-on-one training to you and your employees on how to properly operate your alarm system.
What you can do:
• Take advantage of free signage offered by Sonitrol Pacific to remind your employees to turn on and off the system.
• Use the designated door – and make sure everyone knows which door is designated– for entry and exit and within the allotted time.
• If you make changes in building usage, notify us so we can visit you and make the appropriate modifications to your Sonitrol alarm system.
• Update your after-hours contact list to ensure that we have accurate contact name and phone number information. Whenever you have a personnel change with anyone who may arm or disarm your system or respond to calls, please let our Data Center know immediately by email at datacenter@ sonitrolpacific.com.
• Inform your emergency contacts that Sonitrol Pacific may call and that answering calls, even at inconvenient times, is important to the protection of the building.
• Let us know in advance if you will have workers outside of your business when your security system is turned on, i.e. landscapers, window washers, etc.
• Ask about integrating access control (keyless entry) into your security system. Keycards and fobs can disarm your system upon entry so you don’t have to worry about remembering codes and pressing buttons.
Integrated access control can help reduce false alarms
Working together, we will minimize any unnecessary use of valuable police resources. Our success has been built upon the continued confidence of law enforcement agencies and the highest apprehension rate in the industry. We look forward to continuing this partnership with you. Please do not hesitate to call with any questions you may have or to set up additional training times.
As January wears on, we are racking up more arrests for the new year.
Operator Minta Christopherson received audio activations from a portable classroom at a public high school in Kirkland, Wash. on January 18 at 1:30 in the morning. She could hear some faint movement and she called the school guard service, who said they would send someone to the campus. Minta continued hearing noise so she dispatched Kirkland PD. Minta heard officers arrive and make contact with two individuals on site. The police later confirmed that both suspects were taken into custody.
At 1 a.m. today, another operator heard what sounded like a “thunk” at Bike Tech in Tacoma. A little while later, the operator heard the sound of breaking glass and immediately dispatched Tacoma PD. The officers arrested one suspect, who had broken the store’s glass window with a large rock but had not yet gained entry to the inside of the store. The early detection prevented the loss of potentially tens of thousand dollars in bikes and bike parts.
At 8 a.m. this morning, Ashley in our Verification Center received alarm activations at a licensing business in Everett. She could hear a few clunks and bangs, followed by faint movement noise in the back area. Given the time of day, Ashley called the business owner to verify that no one had come in early to work. The owner confirmed that the business was not open yet and that no employees would be there. Ashley dispatched Everett PD. She began hearing a male voice but could not determine what was being said. She updated the dispatch. Later, an officer called back and confirmed that two suspects were arrested at the building for burglary. They attempted to gain entry with a crowbar but were unable. One suspect had a warrant and officers confiscated bags of money and illegal drugs, including heroin.
Our most notable arrest of 2013 involved a perfect storm of crime: burglary, a loaded gun and intravenous drug paraphernalia.
Lora Orsborn helped nab a belligerent burglar on May 26th after receiving a glass break alarm at King Feed Inc. in Eatonville, Wash. She heard the sound of breaking glass and heavy footsteps. Lora dispatched the Pierce County Sheriff. In a nice show of teamwork, another Operator, Bricia Mejia, helped out by alerting the store’s owner while Lora stayed on the phone with the police. The suspect could be heard mumbling as he entered the warehouse showroom. At that point, the suspect saw a surveillance camera and shouted out loud that he didn’t care if he was on camera.
When police arrived, the suspect took off. He was apprehended in a nearby field after a foot chase. Officers found stolen needles and syringes on him, along with fleece that he said was for his girlfriend’s dog. The suspect was carrying a loaded 9mm gun, but thankfully none of the officers were injured during the pursuit. Security footage actually shows the man walking around and waving the gun in the air.
The audio of the incident made it seem as though two people might have been involved. After questioning the suspect, officers learned that the man was on his cell phone during the burglary.
We are so glad that our security system detected this intrusion and that the Pierce County Sheriff’s officers responded so quickly. Two employees were scheduled to open for the day only 30 minutes after the suspect was apprehended. Had he remained in the building, this story could have ended very differently.
The apprehension earning the silver medal for arrests this year took place at an office park in Portland over the summer when a burglar took a tospy-turvy path up the roof, down the vent, through the bathroom and into the lobby of one of the businesses. At 8:30 p.m. on July 7, Operator Bricia Mejia received alarms from the door in a suite followed by audio of banging. She dispatched Portland Police and the property management security service. The police department called back and advised that they had one in custody.
The following morning, a customer service representative followed up and learned that at least four officers and a K-9 responded to the dispatch along with a ladder truck from the fire department. The suspect made his way onto the roof of the building and then dropped down through a vent into the attic. He found a hatch leading to the women’s bathroom on the main floor and then kicked his way through the door into a dental office. He rifled through all of the dental equipment and damaged cabinet locks. He then found himself locked in the suite but was able to kick through the bathroom door to access the roof the way he came in. Once he was on the roof, officers spotted him and were able to successfully chase him down. He admitted that he was responsible for another break-in as well.