Law Enforcement to Businesses: Invest in Digital Surveillance

OTTAWA County, Mich. – The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office encourages business owners to invest in quality surveillance cameras.

John Weenum knows firsthand how beneficial the cameras are. He owns Mancino’s in Grand Haven. It was one of about 40 businesses broken into over the summer. His surveillance cameras caught the suspects in action.

Derek Kraai, Damien Sosa, and his brother Malachi were arrested in August for the break-ins.

“It was a key piece of evidence for the detectives to look at to piece [things] together. We could see exactly how they were moving around in the business. As some of these cases are now going to trial, they’re using that as clear evidence,” Weenum said.

“It has certainly helped me on the insurance, the claim on the insurance. Everything that they had taken, it was all right on camera,” Weenum said.

Lieutenant Mark Bennett knows the challenge it presents when a business doesn’t have surveillance, a system doesn’t work, or employees don’t know how to use it. This can delay an investigation.

“The other thing is outdated equipment. There still are a few businesses around that still use VHS tapes believe or not, so that’s a very difficult medium to pull those images from and then send them out electronically,” Bennett said.

Bennett suggests businesses invest in digital technology.

“Obviously we know that there’s a cost involved, but it’s a benefit to them and to us to have that incident captured on video,” Bennett said.

“The surveillance cameras, I would say, put it in your budget. Like an advertisement dollar, put it up front,” Weenum said.

He added, “It’s going to help you with insurance. It’s going to help you with protection of your own employees, and it’s going to help you if something else goes wrong like what happened to me.”

Weenum said since the break-ins he’s also invested in an alarm system.

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