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Southwest Philly Business Owners Go High-Tech To Nab Burglars

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Some local business owners in Southwest Philadelphia, sick of falling victim to burglars, turned to high tech security to cut crime. Their investment paid off in days.

“We installed the last camera on Friday, on Sunday we got him,” Dion Mason, the owner of What U Need Auto Parts, explained.

According to Mason’s landlord, who is also the president of Southwest Used Auto Parts Association, there’s been a rash of robberies in the area. His business was hit six times in the last two months.

Mason told Eyewitness News, the thieves were using electric saws and cutting and stealing catalytic converters from cars.

“You figure they’re worth about $100 or $125, sometimes even more depending on the car. If you can get four or five of them in a couple hours, that’s not bad money for a couple hours worth of work,” Mason said.

Frustrated, Mason and his landlord called “New Technology” to install a security system. The system they chose allows them to log into the surveillance video system on a Smartphone and view the video real-time from anywhere.

Richard Brody with New Technology added, “This technology is fairly new with that particular type of camera.”

The camera automatically adjusts the lighting. So even though the burglary occurred on Sunday night at 11 p.m., the video looked as bright as if it was daytime outside. Those are the images Mason saw on his cell phone at the time of the burglary. He rushed over with police and caught one of the suspects red-handed.

“I was excited, but scared at the same time. I figured it was the guy that was stealing it and I was just excited we caught him, finally,” Mason said.

Police say the search for the second suspect is continuing.

In the meantime, police are using this case as an example to urge neighboring business owners to be just as proactive.

Police handed out a “Crime Bulletin” reminding business owners, there’s been a sharp increase in the area for theft from auto parts shops and new car lots and recommending business owners to install similar real time cameras, use brighter lighting or place a guard dog on the property to stop the offenders.

Reported By: Elizabeth Hur, CBS 3

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