SUNOL — When five young men — all from Fremont and Hayward — were spotted inside the Sunol Valley Golf Club early last Friday morning and allegedly destroyed all of the business’ carts and portions of the course, Alameda County Sheriff’s deputies responded quickly and were able to arrest all five.
Much of the credit for the quick response to the golf club on Mission Road is due to the business’ security system. Although there is no alarm, several surveillance cameras are monitored at all times via the Internet by Arizona-based Iveda Solutions.
“It’s definitely paid off for us,” said Perry Lee, the information technology specialist at the golf club.
The idea behind the technology is that rather than using security tape for evidence after the crime has occurred, it’s better to catch a crime in progress. It’s also cheaper to have someone watch a live feed than to have a security guard present at the business.
Golf club staff found out about Iveda Solutions because Iveda sales representative Darrin Tuttle was a regular customer there.
“We already had a camera system here, but no one was monitoring it,” Lee said. “We also had a security guard, but that was costly.”
The company was started in 2003 and its clients include police departments, cities and hotel chains.
The system allows customers to watch their own live camera stream. In the event of a crime, Iveda staff can also send a link to the stream to law enforcement agencies.
“We’re able to access specific cameras remotely,” Iveda President and CEO Davis Ly said. “The customers contract with us to monitor them.”
This way an alarm is not necessary.
“The perpetrator does not have to breach an alarm,” Ly said. “They just need to be in camera view.”
The reported break-in at the golf club was seen live via an IP link. As the five men allegedly broke in, took the golf carts and began to run them into each other and damage the course, Iveda employees called Sunol Valley managers and the sheriff’s department, Tuttle said.
Sheriff’s deputies responded to the club at 1:45 a.m. By that time a manager was on-site and already holding one of the alleged vandals for them.
A search by deputies and several police dogs led to the discovery of four other suspects.
“Any time we can get early warnings and credible information, that makes criminals easier to catch,” sheriff’s Sgt. J.D. Nelson said.
Lee said the Nov. 2 break-in wasn’t the first time the surveillance system has paid off for the golf club.
When a teen stole a keg of beer during a wedding, employees were able to catch him in the act.
“(His family) ended up paying for the whole thing and then some,” he said.