Situated in Hammond, La., Ross Downing Buick, GMC and Cadillac of Hammond is a leading regional, independently owned automobile dealership specializing in new and used vehicle sales, loan financing and service. With hundreds of cars in its lots at any given time, it is critical that Ross Downing keep a close eye on its infrastructure, personnel and investments.
The Video Challenge
The Hammond area experienced an outbreak of thefts at car dealerships — with thieves stealing as many as 30 tires and rims in one night from a single business. The value of its automobiles and the influx in crime led Ross Downing to look at the possibility of adding technology to protect its environment.
The dealership met with Onsite Guardian, an Advanced MOBOTIX partner and a specialist in innovative IP surveillance and monitoring solutions. Onsite Guardian listened to the dealership’s specific security challenges and business goals to develop a solution that would meet the business’ needs today and into the future. Clay Mixon, Co-Owner of Onsite Guardian, recommended a MOBOTIX IP-based surveillance system to serve as a deterrent and an investigative tool if and when any crimes occurred. The MOBOTIX solution promises clear live and stored images combined with audio capabilities to deliver significant immediate and long-term cost savings though its decentralized structure. Pioneered by MOBOTIX, the decentralized approach allows all processing to occur on the camera to reduce bandwidth requirements.
Detect and Deter
Onsite Guardian installed MOBOTIX M24 and D14 DualDome megapixel surveillance cameras, which included the latest firmware with MxActivitySensor at no additional cost. MxActivitySensor enables activity-controlled, software-based image analysis to detect movement in a monitored area. Unlike existing video motion sensors, which detect all events in the pre-defined area, MxActivitySensor delivers reliable motion detection, even in applications with large amounts of interference. Using the activity sensor, a camera can distinguish between movements of vehicles, people or objects that should trigger an alarm and movements that are not relevant, such as shadows, changes in light, swaying trees, animals or rain. The sensor is able to detect objects or people that cross the pre-defined monitored area regardless of background movement. This significantly decreases the number of false positives, and therefore, false alarms. In fact, the MxActivitySensor is proven to reduce false alarms by 90 percent.
The integration of the MOBOTIX ExtIO module with the dealership’s existing public address system enabled the system to automate the playing of two customized audible messages. From 9 p.m. to midnight, a female voice welcomes guests to the dealership but lets them know the lot is being monitored. Another message is played from midnight to 6 a.m. In this prerecorded message, a male voice informs individuals they have been detected, authorities have been notified and advises them to leave. Sound profiles were also created that play the default MXAlarm sound before and after the verbal warning.
“Our objective is to create systems that detect the threat before a criminal act occurs, which in turn enables us to proactively notify security or police personnel as necessary,” said Mixon. Mixon noted another advantage of the MxActivitySensor is the ability to prevent false alarms that plague traditional video motion detection, especially in environments subject to lighting, wind and rain, as is prevalent in this southern state.
The MxActivitySensor proved its value during a recent incident at the dealership. The event, which was documented in an online video, shows two individuals walking into the dealership lot. The voice message sounds and the individuals stop, try to run for cover and then attempt to re-enter the lot. After multiple attempts, the perpetrators are unable to avoid ongoing detection and leave the premises. The public address system combined with the MxActivitySensor successfully deterred any criminal activity and eliminated any potential loss for Ross Downing.
In addition to the theft prevention from the MOBOTIX cameras and MxActivity Sensor, the facility’s false alarms have been greatly reduced. A video monitoring service is also notified of any MxActivitySensor events and with the sensor, the monitoring service can assess the severity of the threat in less than one minute. According to Mixon, the dealership saves significant money by deterring the likelihood of additional events – a typical set of tires and rims can run as high as $6,000.
“With MxActivitySensor, nightly events per camera were reduced from more than 75 to as little as four,” Mixon said. “This has also increased our video retention time greatly due to the decrease in recorded events.”
Ross Downing Buick, GMC and Cadillac of Hammond
Comprehensive coverage using fewer cameras
Solution serves as a deterrent, reduces likelihood of loss
Clear images of parking lot and perimeter, even at night
Theft averted in real-time
Video archived to spearhead investigations
Cost effective system reduces opportunity for loss
MxActivitySensor reduces false alarms