The most current buzz phrase in both technology and home security is “smart home automation.” Thanks to a number of devices hitting the market, smart home automation translates to security for homes, even when residents are away.

Despite company claims that these systems will scare away burglars, there haven’t been many success stories detailing whether or not these security measures actually work. But one Manhattan dweller, Danny Wheeler, is very happy that he installed the security system in the first place, since it allowed him to see that two burglars who were rifling through his apartment, even if the burglars got away before the police arrived.

The Perfect Way to Kick Off Crime Prevention Month

Most people associate October with breast cancer awareness, but it’s also crime prevention month, and Wheeler’s story is the perfect example of why prevention is so important. The story begins with Danny Wheeler, a resident of New York City, who was at work one day when he received an unexpected alert thanks to an app for his security system. It told him that there were two people in his home. He was able to open the app and view live footage of two burglars entering his apartment. One stood in the kitchen and helped the other to climb through the window. Knowing he must act quickly, Wheeler sent the video to the NYPD, who responded immediately.

“I called the police as soon as I got the alert,” Wheeler told ABC News. “By the time I got here, there were 30 police officers, two helicopters in the sky…the place was absolutely blanketed.”

The burglars were long gone by the time the police arrived on the scene. They made off with a silver bracelet as well as a ticket to a Rangers game. Then, one left through the window while the other ran out using the fire escape. The official report stated that they must have climbed to the roof of the building, and then used the fire escape to climb down to Wheeler’s window.

Why They Weren’t Caught.

Though the police responded quickly to the burglary report, they weren’t fast enough to stop the theft. This is because the security system used in this particular instance was low quality and did not alert the police immediately. The system he used was called Canary, and it’s one of the more affordable home security systems on the market. However, it lacks the capacity to alert the police the moment it detects an intruder.

Still, the police agreed that a flawed home security system is better than no system at all. Once an alert is sent to the homeowner’s smartphone, they have the ability to immediately forward the message to the police or even trigger a loud alarm that will scare intruders away. This system fails if homeowners aren’t able to check their phones at the time of the breakin, but it’s still better than nothing. The video footage is also useful in helping the police catch the burglars and return the stolen items.

“Somebody is going to recognize [the suspects],” Wheeler stated in an interview thanks to the video. The burglars weren’t wearing masks, and Wheeler feels pretty confident that the high quality video sent to his phone is all the evidence he needs to find the suspects and press charges.

Take Care This Month

Wheeler is quite fortunate that the thieves didn’t take much and that he had the resources to catch them. Residents of highly populated areas are urged to take precautions and work to prevent crimes in their homes. With a good security system, homeowners around the world can stop a crime in action, or at least use the resources to catch the perpetrators. Installing home security systems, locking doors, enacting a neighborhood watch, and being careful to keep expensive items out of view, are all great ways to prevent home burglaries.