Richmond Police offer surveillance system tips

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - No business wants to get broken into, but ones with high quality surveillance systems are already at an advantage when it comes to catching those criminals.

Xavier Cibes owns Song's Market and has been a victim of several crimes since his store opened eight years ago. He installed a quality surveillance system to record what happens inside and outside.

"Things do get crazy out here," said Cibes. "Fights, shootings, whatever. I don't want to go outside. I can see what's going on, lock my door and call 911."

When police get that call, many times they find the images are too dark or blurry when they show up to the store. That's why officers encourage businesses to keep their systems maintained. Check the cables, check the focus, make sure there is enough lighting near the camera, and clean them regularly.

"It's good to have all those things in place, so when robberies happen we'll be able to apprehend those suspects," said Richmond Police Lt. Ronnie Armstead.

It's also important that the right people know how to operate the system. Cibes knows how to work his. Since it's digital, it's even easier to pull and hand over to police. Since Cibes installed his system a year and a half ago, police were able to catch a suspect they said tried to rob him last summer. It was because his camera took clear photos.

Even though his system cost several thousand dollars, Cibes says the long term investment will help prevent crimes that could cost him more in the long run.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.