Alarm Response Spoils Jewelry Store Intruder’s Holiday Plans

By Ashley Willis

SALT LAKE CITY — A jewelry store owner here is crediting Peak Alarm Co.’s alarm response service for stopping an intruder from swiping valuable assets from his shop Sunday.

The intruder smashed a window at the jewelry store around 2 a.m. Unbeknownst to the burglar, he tripped the glassbreak sensor of the DMP alarm system installed on the premises, which alerted the Peak Alarm UL-Listed central station. Operators then dispatched one of Peak Alarm’s guard and patrol officers to survey the scene.

“The Salt Lake City Police Department has a no-response policy unless an alarm has been verified,” Rick Howe, president of Peak Alarm, tells SSI. “A lot of times, the police don’t even come out until we’ve been out there to see if something has happened.”

Within seven minutes, the officer arrived at the scene and caught the intruder attempting to enter the building with a bloody hand. The guard then contacted police, who took the suspect into custody.

During the holiday season, reports of thieves breaking into homes or businesses seem to increase more than any other time of year. For Howe and his General Manager Clint Beecroft, that information is all too real. In addition to the aforementioned incident, Peak Alarm has been able to assist in the apprehensions of two other individuals within a three-week span.

“We had break-ins at an elementary school and a community center,” Howe explains. “At the community center, police were dispatched with K-9 units. They caught a suspect inside and he had to go to the ER with dog bites for resisting arrest. ‘Tis the season, and fortunately our alarms do work.”

Started in 1969, Peak Alarm provides intrusion detection, fire alarm, video surveillance, access control, A/V, monitoring services and guard services to more than 12,000 residential, commercial and national accounts across Utah, Idaho, Nevada and Wyoming. In addition to alarm response services to verify alarms, the company offers RSI-Videofied video alarms.

Peak Alarm, which brings in roughly $430,000 in recurring monthly revenue (RMR) on the alarm side alone, also has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. This is not an easy feat since most alarm firms in Utah have gotten a bad rap from local law enforcement.

“In Salt Lake City, we’ve had difficulties with the police agency because they’ve been really coming down on alarm companies here, saying that we’re scams or shysters,” Howe says. “We haven’t had the best relationship with them because they sort of took that stance against the whole industry.”

Despite this, Peak Alarm is working hard to build that relationship, even meeting with local police departments on a monthly basis.

“They like our patrol officers because it helps verify that something really is happening before they show up on the scene,” Beecroft says. “We also get together with some police municipalities and some other security companies to discuss ways to prevent false alarms and how to clean up the industry.”

During the meetings, law enforcement officials present a list to local alarm companies called the “Dirty Dozen” of home and business owners with excessive amounts of false alarms, in the hopes that the firms will work with customers to resolve the issues. Additionally, Peak Alarm has signed up for the ASAP to PSAP program, which sends alarm signals directly to police and fire dispatchers without the need for a telephone call from an alarm monitoring station. The firm hopes to complete that process within the next eight months.

As 2013 approaches, Howe and Beecroft say that they hope to continue the company’s growth. By the year’s end, Peak Alarm will be moving into its new digs — a 17,000-square-foot facility that the firm built from the ground up. Additionally, the company plans to ramp up its social media marketing and purchase other alarm businesses.

“We probably had about seven acquisitions in the last year, and we expect the same next year,” Howe says. “2012 has been a very busy and good year for us.”

Ashley Willis is associate editor for SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION magazine. She can be reached at (310) 533-2419.

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