Located in the Capitol Hill neighbourhood of Seattle, the historic two-story brick and timber commercial building at 115 Belmont Street is surrounded by apartment complexes, coffee shops, and other commercial establishments. The building was renovated and upgraded in 2002 to make it more attractive to potential tenants. It is currently the home of a Seattle Goodwill® Industries store.
Effect of graffiti on property value
Retailers, shoppers, and residents in this area of Capitol Hill face a number of security challenges, including vandalism and theft. One of the most pressing issues is the problem of graffiti. The Belmont Street building was a prime target for graffiti vandals, known as “taggers.”
The cost of graffiti cleanup is substantial and few perpetrators were being apprehended. Graffiti can also encourage a serious snowball effect as its initial appearance in a location may attract more graffiti and crime. This was the case with the Capitol Hill building. Retail sales were negatively impacted and the property’s value was jeopardised.
Arecont megapixel solution
Sequoyah Electric and Network Services provided the property owner with a solution to help resolve the recurring graffiti problem. By installing Arecont Vision® megapixel cameras, it was expected that the surveillance system would capture high resolution images of the taggers both during the day and at night, and provide the police with the evidence they needed to apprehend and prosecute the offenders.
Five Arecont Vision® MegaDome® 2 vandal resistant 3 megapixel cameras were installed along with an ExacqVision video management system. Almost immediately, a tagger was caught on video defacing the building. The quality of the image allowed an identification to be made and the matter was handed over to the Seattle Police Department. After a few more taggers were caught on video, word quickly spread and the graffiti problem disappeared. Incidents of vandalism and theft were also captured by the Arecont Vision® megapixel cameras, and the detailed images provided the authorities with sufficient identification and forensic documentation for prosecution.
The system was designed so that both the building owner and Sequoyah can remotely access live or recorded video with the ability to zoom in on footage for a closer look. A mobile app gives real time access as needed. The cameras are contained in environmental, vandal-proof housings and automatically switch from colour to black and white recording in the evening.
Assisting authorities with suspect identification
“The excellent resolution and frame rate of the Arecont Vision® cameras makes forensic review of the video evidence a snap. We are able to resolve facial detail and provide the authorities with quality images to assist with identification of suspects,” said Jon Tabler, Loss Prevention Systems Manager, Seattle Goodwill® Industries.
Theft and vandalism may never be completely eliminated but with the Arecont Vision® megapixel cameras deployed with the exacqVision video surveillance software, the building owner and the authorities now have the tools to initiate prosecution while protecting people, property, and assets.
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