2005 ISC East Special Report: Crowd Takes in Stars of ‘It Takes a Thief’

NEW YORK — A packed house greeted the keynote opening presentation of the International Security Conference (ISC) East in New York on Aug. 24, as the stars and minds behind the Discovery Channel’s “It Takes a Thief” passed on some of their secrets in an event co-sponsored by Security Sales & Integration. Following the presentation, the “Thief” stars signed autographs and talked with ISC attendees at SSI‘s booth.

The Discovery Channel program’s co-hosts — Matt Johnston and Jon Douglas Rainey — were joined on stage at the Jacob Javits Convention Center by the show’s security consultant, Frank Santamorena, a Physical Security Professional (PSP) with ASSA ABLOY Americas’ Integrated Solutions Specialist (ISS) Program. Rainey urged the audience to not only let their products secure their clients, but also to help their clients secure themselves.

“You can give people high-tech solutions, but if you don’t change your behavior, it won’t do any good,” said Rainey, a reformed ex-burglar. “It’s a widespread problem that people don’t take their security seriously.”

On the show, Rainey and Johnston perform mock burglaries of volunteers’ homes to reveal their security holes, then offer solutions on how to secure their families.

Johnston told the ISC crowd that homeowners are scared straight into doing more for their security.

“I know these people sign on for this, but to see all your stuff stolen does something to you. Jon calls it shock therapy,” Johnston said. “People get very emotional. Security is only as good as the people who use it.”  The event drew rave reactions from the crowd, including Ralph Sevinor, president with Lynn, Mass.’ Wayne Alarm.

“I thought this year’s keynote was absolutely fantastic as it brought home what we really do for a living,” says Sevinor.  “I’ve been in this industry more than 30 years and I was thoroughly impressed. It gave me a reality check I think that most of us in security have become immune to the big picture as to how this can affect a family as the emotional toll is huge and long lasting.”

A video montage produced by Discovery exclusively for the ISC keynote was presented, drawing further oohs and ahs from the audience. The presentation also featured SSI Publisher Mike Zawinski and Editor-in-Chief Scott Goldfine.

Following the keynote, Johnston, Rainey and Santamorena greeted expo attendees at SSI‘s booth and autographed copies of the August issue of the magazine, which features an exclusive “It Takes a Thief” cover story. Visitors also received commemorative t-shirts, many of which were also signed by the show’s on-screen and behind-the-scenes talent.


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