New York car dealership Bill Kolb Jr. Subaru is the largest Subaru dealership on the East Coast. At any given time, the dealership has 400-500 cars on their lot. Over the last 16 years, Bill Kolb Jr. Subaru has experienced exponential growth. Business has gone from selling two cars per month to more than 250. There was just one challenge that plagued their bottom line: auto theft.
“From 2010-2011, I personally saw 3-4 cars being stolen off the lot,” said James McVoy, IT Manager at Bill Kolb Jr. Subaru.The dealership did have an analog video surveillance system inside their facility. However, the system was expensive and the images that the cameras captured were of low quality.“I would give the video footage to the police and they wouldn’t be able to use it to help them identify suspects,” explained McVoy.
It was then that the Bill Kolb Jr. Subaru team decided they needed an improved, cost-effective security system. McVoy did a lot of research on the best security integrator companies and eventually found Alex Torres, who is the president and owner of S.O.G. Security, Inc. based in New York. Torres has been in the security and law enforcement industry for over 40 years. He began his career as a police officer and retired as a detective before founding his own security company. He has deep expertise in deploying video, alarm and intercom security systems in the commercial and residential industries.
Torres suggested using audio with the cameras to create a complete surveillance solution. With the audio, a central station guard would be able to see, listen and speak to anyone who walked onto the car lot. When it came to choosing an audio solution, Torres’ relied on a recommendation from eDIST– a provider in business solutions, security solutions and speech recognition– as his distributor. eDIST suggested Louroe Electronics’ listen-talkback speakerphones, which are known for their unparalleled microphone quality and durability. Although it was Torres’ first time working with Louroe’s technology, he quickly experienced its products superior sound quality and now refers to the intercoms as “the best speakers out there.”
Once Torres did a demo of the audio and video surveillance technology, the Bill Kolb Jr. Subaru team was sold and wanted to move forward with the system. The surveillance system activates after dark when someone walks into one of the pre-designated areas of interest; a silent alarm is triggered and the video central station and Bill Kolb Jr. Subaru staff are notified. The central station staff will either call the police or use the audio to talk down to the person and let them know the dealership is closed.
The technology has functioned well. “The microphones work 100% of the time. I’ve had no problems with them,” said Torres. The audio-video system has also proven to be effective as it has prevented theft on multiple occasions. “There were times when people were walking around the car lot and it was obvious they were up to no good,” said Torres. “The cameras picked up on the individuals and alerted central station. The guard was able to talk down to them and they pretty much left the property immediately.”
Since the 2012 installation of the surveillance system at Bill Kolb Jr. Subaru, there have been no major crime occurrences. Torres attributes this success to the security system and the combination of the audio and video equipment. “When the cameras are good, in conjunction with the audio, they provide information and real-time response that can prevent an incident,” added Torres.
As the Bill Kolb Jr. Subaru project demonstrates, video surveillance plays a key role in protecting property, discouraging trespassers and identifying security threats. The audio component is critical in verifying alarms and communicating to suspects that they are being monitored and deterring them from committing any further offenses. It’s only when audio and video are used together that an end user can have a fully effective security system. “For certain companies, having audio and video is important to ensure security. But for our type of business, it’s mandatory,” said McVoy.