Crime wave sparking interest in security systems

Posted at 11:27 AM, Aug 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-18 11:14:23-04

With a rash of burglaries and larcenies sweeping through Buffalo area suburbs, many people are now wondering if they need a security camera at their home?

A private home security camera recorded video this past weekend showing a thief breaking into cars on Patsy Lane in Depew.  Detectives were given a copy of the video after Depew police reported that over 20 cars were entered with items stolen in the northwest portion of the town.  Orchard Park, Clarence and the Town of Tonawanda have also reported an increase in break-ins.

The department tells 7 Eyewitness News that after the video was shown, it generated several tips from the public and those are helping the investigation.

The crimes are also causing more people to look at purchasing a home security system.

"It is important to know that there are big differences between a professionally installed system and one bought at a big box store for a do-it-yourselfer," said John Sperrazza, president of Advanced Alarm, Inc. in Tonawanda and past president of the NYS Electronics Security Association. "I don't think people realize that they have come down in price and are not as expensive as they were years ago."

Pro-installed security cameras offer better resolution with longer tolerance to weather conditions, said Sperrazza.

Warren Clark, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Upstate N.Y., said he worries the crime wave may inspire unqualified contractors to try and scare residents into buying a security system by going door-to-door in the crime-affected areas.

"We call them 'Storm Chasers.'  Be wary of anyone coming to your door selling those," said Clark who added that customers should use the same care in hiring a security installation contractor as they would in getting any other home contractor.

The BBB recommends:

  • Check with your insurance company for suggestions.
  • It is wise to use a professional installer
  • Read contracts carefully and check charges for equipment and monitoring.
  • Make sure you understand the fine print.
  • Check with your municipality to see if there are extra charges for false alarms.
  • Remember that in New York State there is a mandatory period of three days where a contract can be canceled

7 Eyewitness News reporter Ed Reilly has more information is his report.