Summer Sun Increases Heat and Crime Wave

May 25, 2016

School’s out, pools are open and temperatures are rising. But temperatures aren’t the only thing increasing, according to the Department of Justice, crime is 10.5% more common in the summer than the winter. The Urban Institute also adds that the most targeted places “are those located in public spaces, or [areas] that are open to public view. Properties where no one has direct responsibility for the area, or those that seem less well guarded.” With people looking to enjoy the sun or beat summer boredom, clubhouses, pools, tennis courts, playgrounds and parking lots are all in need of better surveillance.

Here are the Top 5 Amenity Area Problems

  1. Common Area Vandalism
  2. After Hours Swimming
  3. Neighbors Filling Up Trash Bins
  4. Chairs Thrown Into Pool
  5. Nightly Visitors in the Parking Lot

Those are just the more common problems. ControlByNet’s cameras have captured some interesing vandals, thieves and loiters in the act.

ControlByNet Cloud Surveillance Footage of Community Pool

Actual ControlByNet footage

Here are the Top 5 Amenity Problems Caught on CBN Cameras

  1. Spray Painted Bathrooms
    (Luckily video was IN THE CLOUD because the vandals looked for video to destroy but couldn’t find it!)
  2. Concrete Bags in Pool
  3. Destroyed Vending Machines
  4. Midnight Pool Party
  5. Drivers Running Gates

Metal Theft Continues to Rise

May 29, 2012

ControlByNet Blog: Cloud Security iFlashA recent NICB Report found that metal thefts have increased 81 percent since 2008.  We have seen firsthand with our clients and our participation in the Southeast Metal Theft Task Force the challenges both businesses and consumers face when it comes to metal theft.

Following are some tips provided by the Southeast Metal Theft Task Force on how you can help in the fight against metal theft:

Crime Prevention Tips

  • Store all metals in a secure area – treat as valuables.
  • Purchase, fabricate or retrofit equipment to discourage metal theft.
  • Mark your metal to discourage theft and for easy identification in case of theft – use bright, distinctive colors.
  • Remind your local law enforcement and prosecutors that metal theft is a costly and dangerous issue for you or your business.
  • Promptly report and prosecute any metal theft crimes.

The full list of tips can be found here:

The full release on the NICB report is here:

Merry and Safe Holiday Shopping

December 7, 2011

From one woman shopper using pepper spray on at least 10 shoppers to a “waffle riot” in Arkansas, this year’s Black Friday is best be described as madness.  But shoppers aren’t the only ones out during the holidays.  The holiday shopping season turns shopping centers and malls into feeding grounds for criminals.

According to a recent Washington Post article, “Retail crime increases about 30 percent this time of year as people crowd malls and retail centers for holiday shopping, according to some police departments across the region.” (

Lucky for retail outlets and police departments, there are surveillance cameras everywhere and retail outlets are becoming very tech-savvy. No longer are they relying on DVRs which can become a victim of crimes themselves as thieves destroy or steal them.  Today’s retail outlets are turning to solutions like ControlByNet’s i-flahsback REMOTE to securely monitor their stores from anywhere on any Internet connected device.

Retail Info System News recently posted “The 12 Ways of Christmas Surveillance” ( providing insight to retailers on how network based IP surveillance can provide both data and alerts to help fight crime, as well as  improve sales and operations.

ControlByNet customers including a Tires Plus franchisee has experienced the benefits of IP-based video surveillance first-hand. The client had someone break in and steal some tires and computers. Unfortunately for the owner, the robber also picked up the DVR and walked out with the evidence. That was the last straw for this owner, who is now using i-flashback REMOTE for multiple shops. No data onsite for theft, and there have been more than a few who have been caught in criminal activity. What’s best for this owner is he can login and see all locations just as he was there, and each manager can also log into his/her respective location.


Metal Thefts Continue to Increase with Down Economy

October 20, 2011

According to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries the growth in metal theft is an overwhelming problem for communities, police and scrap metal recyclers.   A recent article in The Beacon-News, “Thefts of Metal Rise with Fall of Economy”, discusses the problem and reasons for the increase.

The article highlights Brandon Kooi, author of the federal law enforcement guide titled “Theft of Scrap Metal,” who states in the article “one of the contributing factors is the global need for scrap metal, with the U.S. as the leading exporter.”

The article goes on to state, “There is an enormous supply and demand, which makes the value of metal skyrocket. We have the perfect storm in today’s economic challenges with the number of foreclosed homes.” he said.  “Clearly the reason for the spike in metal theft is because from the offender perspective, it is very opportunistic to steal,” he said.  Kooi said those front-yard “home auction” signs are as good as posting “please come steal my copper” to would-be thieves.

The metro-Atlanta area has also seen a spike in scrap metal.  The Metro Atlanta Metal Task Force ( is working with commercial and government entities to encourage the sharing of information on current events in the recycling profession.  It promotes cooperation between authorities and members to benefit the industry as well as the community. Sponsorship of the Task Force is headed up by Schnitzer Southeast and ControlByNet.

Information from the following recent alerts from the Metro Atlanta Metal Task Force highlight some recent examples of the scrap metal theft problem:

  • Large business copper theft
    • Approximately 40′ of copper wire was taken from business…. Whoever took possession of the wire was a skilled electrician because they knew the wire was not energized and the wire that was left was wrapped in c-130 tape
  • Stolen copper
    • 10 Rolls of 4+250 gauge MCM copper wire covered in black insulation.. 40 boxes of 12 gauge mcm solid copper wire.. total value $122,000.00
  • Power company copper wire theft
    • Approximately 1800lbs of wire taken from a south metro location.  The wire is known as “Copperweld” or “Copper Coated” Steel Wire and will possibly be sold in coils.  As many as 18 coils were taken and each coil weighs 100lbs.
  • Metal and copper theft from water treatment facility
    • $12,000 worth of fabricated 316 grade stainless steel gates approximately 12 feet in length, weighing 1100 lbs each were stolen from them

While copper continues to be a target for metal theft other common targets include:

  • Plumbing fixtures
  • Air conditioners
  • Vehicle parts and especially catalytic converters
  • Aluminum siding/gutters/roofs
  • Manhole covers and grates
  • Bronze plaques and statues
  • Beer kegs

The success of the Task Force and other similar organizations  relies on people sharing information. Consumers and business affected by metal theft, as well as recyclers who come into possession or contact with possibly stolen metal can notify authorities and help as we fight this growing problem.

You can read the full The Beacon-Times article here: