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In-Store Security: A Matter of Convenience
Axis Network Cameras Help Protect Convenience Store from Robberies
     

Event Date: 12-17-03
Client:
Citgo Sooper Stop
Location: West Fargo, ND

Actual camera shown below
Actual picture quality


Mission 
When Todd Jacobson purchased a convenience store in West Fargo, North Dakota, he wanted to install a surveillance system that would help him protect his store and his workers from robberies. The store did not have an existing surveillance system, and the location had fallen victim to robberies in the past. 

Solution 
Mr. Jacobson worked with byRemote, an IP surveillance solutions provider, to install a surveillance system with four Axis network cameras connected to a DSL line. The network cameras enable remote viewing via the Internet and the offsite recording and storage of images using byRemote Surveillance Center software.

Result 
As a result, Mr. Jacobson can access live or recorded images via the Internet, 24 hours a day, just by using an Internet-connected PC and a standard Web browser. In fact, the recorded images helped local police apprehend a man who robbed the store three weeks after the system was in place. In addition, the image quality was so clear that police had no problem identifying and apprehending the suspect just three and a half hours after the robbery. 

Advantage: Network Cameras
Although the National Association of Convenience Stores estimates that as many as 80 percent of the United State’s convenience stores go crime-free in any given year, convenience store owners still remain cautious when it comes to protecting their people and property. 

In addition, the closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems used in many stores today are ineffective due to poor image quality and onsite recording. Because video is often recorded to videotapes, the image quality degrades as tapes are reused too many times, and some criminals have also started stealing the videotapes during robberies – eliminating the evidence as they leave. 

In Mr. Jacobson’s case, his Citgo Sooper Stop had been the target of past robberies, and his previous career as a prison guard made him even more aware of the necessity of a good security system. Mr. Jacobson was aware of the shortcomings of CCTV systems and decided to research digital alternatives. He decided on the Axis network video technology and byRemote’s service because it offered the best solution at an affordable price. 

“I never had a doubt that the Axis network video cameras and the byRemote system were the right choice for my business,” Mr. Jacobson said. “Other systems ran as high as $6,500, but this one was less than $1,700 and easily paid for itself in the first month of operation.”

In addition to price, another major advantage of Axis network video equipment is the ability to transmit images over the Internet. Because of this, Mr. Jacobson can view live or recorded images of his store at any time from any Internet-connected computer, just by accessing a password-protected Web site. The Internet accessibility also allows byRemote to record and store the video to a secure offsite location, which makes it impossible for robbers to tamper with video evidence. 

Sooper Security
Just three weeks after byRemote installed the Axis network video equipment, Mr. Jacobson’s Citgo Sooper Stop was robbed at knifepoint, and the thief stole nearly $200 in cash. Although Mr. Jacobson recognized the man as a store patron, he was able to go to the police station and easily show authorities the recorded video via the Internet. The police then printed several photos of the man and began their search. 

Armed with the images from the Axis network cameras, the West Fargo police apprehended the suspect within about three and a half hours. Afterward, Detective Greg Warren told a local newspaper that the color images from the Axis network cameras were much more useful to police than the black-and-white and grainy videotapes from older analog systems. 

“The image quality and easy accessibility are the best part of the system,” Mr. Jacobson said. “Because we were able to find the images and share them with the police so quickly, I recovered all of my losses.” 

Mr. Jacobson said that he plans to use this system in any future store he opens. Because network video is so scalable, he has the option to add just one camera at a time, as they are needed. With a CCTV system, he would need to invest in additional technology when adding new cameras. In addition, he would be able to view cameras from all of stores from a single Internet-connected computer, another important feature that is not possible with CCTV. 

“The network video system gives me state-of-the-art security at an affordable price,” Mr. Jacobson said. “I would recommend this system to any small business owner looking to improve security and surveillance in their stores.” 

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