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Your “second set of eyes”

Mr. Atkins flipped the lights on in the back room of the motel. A scrawny, young trainee named, Robbie, sheepishly trailed him.

And here is our second set of eyes, said the old manager. He motioned at an unassuming box about the size of a home computer, sitting on a shelf beside an LCD monitor.

So, “What does it do?, asked Robbie? The old manager explained to Robbie that sometimes the motor lodge had to deal with less than unsavory guests. Since the staff couldn’t be everywhere at once, the manager bought a digital video recorder.

So instead of having to scan through hours and hours of video recordings, the system recorded everything to a quiet hard drive.

“We’ve got 4 cameras set up,” said Mr. Atkins said. And we get it all.

“So it’s kind of like TiVo”, the boy said.

“Son, I don’t know what a TiVo is,” said Mr. Atkins said. “It’s more like a Columbo”.

He explained how a few weeks earlier, someone had broken into some of the guests rooms in the middle of the night. As soon as the first guests reported some things missing, Mr. Atkins called the sheriff and the motel owner, who lived about a 45 minute drive away.der

Atkins told the boy how the owner was able to log into the video recorder from his home, using the internet. Because motion sensors triggered the recorder, the owner didn’t have to wade through hours of useless video. Based on the time frame the guests provided, the owner selected a set of trigger events.

Within a few minutes, he found the likely suspect, and emailed the footage to the sheriff and the media. By the time the morning news hit the airwaves at 6 a.m., law enforcement knew the thief’s name and the news anchor was playing the video clips to solicit tips.

“We had that boy in custody by lunchtime,” the manager said. And with Columbo here taking care of everything around here, I can start taking some nights off.

Remember, Don’t be a victim!



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