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.
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
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
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.
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.”