The expertise and persistence of a Sonitrol Pacific operator monitoring audio security sensor technology allowed police to arrest four people suspected of a three school burglary spree before the suspects could break into a fourth school April 28.
Monitoring Operator Jessica Culver received an impact-activated alert from a Puget Sound area school about 2:10 a.m. She heard a loud crash, glass breaking and banging noises, along with voices whispering to “hurry up”. Culver immediately called police. Moments later, it got quiet at the school again. Police were on scene within minutes and found a broken window at the school, but the suspects were gone.
At 2:56 a.m., Culver received series of activations from a second school and immediately called police. She heard voices and banging noises, but all went quiet at 2:58 a.m. Again, police were on scene within minutes of the security system activation and located a broken window, but the intruders were in and out of the school in just two minutes.
At 3:32 a.m., the pattern began again at a third school. Culver let police know she had an activation at the school with what sounded like the same whispering voices. Police responded quickly, but the suspects evaded capture.
The suspects were moving very fast from school-to-school. The city’s police force was on high alert to catch them when a patrol car spotted four people waking through a field towards a fourth school. The four were detained and confessed to breaking into the three schools.
Police located and impounded the suspects’ car; the vehicle had been reported as stolen and officers believe it was used to haul property taken from the schools. Once the property is cataloged, it will be returned to the district.
Thanks to Culver’s expertise in monitoring audio security sensors and the fast response by police officers to verified alarms, school property was recovered, losses were kept to a minimum and the suspects were caught before breaking into a fourth school.