Audio Detection Technology Foils Break-in at Motorcycle Dealership

By Ashley Willis

DURHAM, N.C. — Police are crediting a verified audio intrusion alarm system for helping apprehend six burglars just minutes after they broke into a motorcycle dealership here.

On April 5 around 10 p.m., police say six burglars shattered the showroom glass at Triangle Cycles, a full-service dealership that sells motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs, scooters, aftermarket parts, accessories and more. The sound generated by the breaking glass triggered the company’s Sonitrol verified audio intrusion system.

“Our operators could hear the people inside talking,” Sonitrol of the Triangle President Chuck Harrelson tells SSI. “Because we verified the break-in, we dispatched in about 30 seconds to the Durham 911 center. The officers responded to the scene within two to three minutes.”

Because of the Durham Police Department’s (DPD) expeditious response, the intruders were detained before they were able to leave the premises with any merchandise. To show gratitude for the department’s timely arrival, Harrelson and the dealership’s owner will present certificates of appreciation to DPD officers involved in the case.

“Acknowledging a job well done means a lot to the officers,” Harrelson explains. “We get nice letters back from the chiefs thanking us for the recognition.”

This isn’t the first time the Sonitrol system assisted in the apprehension of would-be thieves at Triangle Cycles, a 13-year Sonitrol of the Triangle customer. About 10 years ago, the dealership faced a similar scenario. Because Sonitrol central station operators heard the thieves exiting the premises, they were able to inform police officers who apprehended the suspects a block away.

The system’s silent alarm activation played a big role in capturing the criminals in both incidents, Harrelson says.

“When a siren goes off, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the police are on the way. Sirens also prevent central station operators from hearing what’s going on. It doesn’t do a customer any good to have 10 break-ins and police never catch the criminal,” he says.

In addition to aiding in the capture of trespassers and reducing false alarms, verified audio intrusion technology has another advantage, according to Harrelson. It can help electronic security companies build a stronger relationship with customers. When Sonitrol of the Triangle clients face fines for alarms that a customer does not consider false, the company can help get the penalty overturned by sending audio files to the proper authorities.

“Just because there is no one there when the police officer gets there, it doesn’t mean that there wasn’t an attempted break-in,” Harrelson says. “That’s why we send audio tapes of what we have of the incident. Once police hear it, they say, ‘It did sound like somebody was trying to break in.’ So, we’re able to help our customers out.”

Since 1998, Raleigh, N.C.-based Sonitrol of the Triangle has served clients in Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh. Servicing 99% commercial accounts, the franchisee offers verified intrusion detection systems, remotely managed access control, CCTV, fire systems and monitoring.

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

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