Sioux Falls, SD It was a bad week for break-ins in South Dakota. Thursday, two suspects were photographed in Aberdeen wondering through several back yards, attempting to break in to at least one home. In Sioux Falls, a neighbor’s security camera caught a suspect trying to break into several cars earlier this week.
In both cases, surveillance images are helping police to track down and identify the suspects. It's why more homeowners are starting to invest in home security.
“Although we live in a safe neighborhood, I'm kind of a worrier, so I just like the extra peace of mind that comes with a home security system,” Sioux Falls homeowner Darla Bruggeman said.
With recent advancements in video and Smartphone technology, homeowners can always keep a close eye on their home.
“We do have a camera; I can check everything on my phone when I’m away,” Bruggeman said.
For decades, businesses have used surveillance cameras to ward off potential thieves, but as the technology becomes more affordable, many homes are also installing full service surveillance systems.
Midwest Alarms headquartered in Sioux Falls has a 24-hour surveillance service for both businesses and homes.
“We actually have homeowners that use us to keep watch over their property, if we see something, if there’s a motion sensor that's tripped, we pull up the video feed right on our monitors and make sure everything is OK,” Midwest Alarm Chief Operation Officer Tyler Blake said.
Bruggeman says if her alarm or motion sensor goes off, she receives a call from her security company less than a minute later, checking to make sure everything is OK. If something is awry, the security firm alerts the authorities right away.
“People are getting surveillance systems for their homes and those have been useful different times, sometimes they can help catch crimes happening in the neighborhood, to their neighbor’s home or catch any crimes happening at their own home,” Sioux Falls Police Officer Sam Clemens said.
Many homeowners say a home security system isn't just about protecting your own home; it also helps keep the whole neighborhood a little safer.
“I think just having the signs in the yard and on the front door probably does help the whole neighborhood,” Bruggeman said.
“It’s a deterrent. We let our customers have a yard sign or stickers at their home so if someone is trying to burglarize their house, the first thing they see is that sticker and our logo and for the most part it keeps people away,” Blake said.
Different security signs can be seen in front of many different kinds of homes and neighborhoods all over Sioux Falls as the service becomes more affordable. A 24-hour, full service security system at Midwest Alarm starts at $49 dollars a month.
“It is an investment, but I believe it is money very well spent,” Bruggeman said.
“There’s really a lot of value as far as we’re concerned with alarms and surveillance systems. They can really aid in finding people responsible for committing crimes,” Officer Clemens said.
Midwest Alarm says homes equipped with their full service security systems can qualify for up to a 20 percent discount on insurance.
Blake says if families aren’t ready to invest in a home security system, lighting is a very inexpensive option to beef up home security. Making sure your yard and neighborhood are well-lit can also deter would-be thieves. Blake says motion-activated lights are also a great way to prevent break-ins.
And Officer Clemens says the best and easiest way to prevent a break-in is to always make sure your doors, cars and garages are always locked. Clemens says many thieves are simply looking for a crime of opportunity with unlocked homes, but they are far less likely to break in through locked doors or windows.