Monthly Archives: August 2011

Viral Video of Flash-Mob Theft Released

In Germantown, Maryland local police released video of a group of about 30 people, assembled as what is known as a “flash mob”, entering a 7-Eleven convenient store.  Mob members stole drinks, candy, and snacks.  Police have identified about half of the suspects and are working to identify the rest, many of which are juveniles who ultimately went with their parents to police to turn themselves in.

“One of the lessons here is you are not anonymous.  You’re on camera,” Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said.

“These kids basically thought they could walk in there, create havoc and remain anonymous,” said Capt. Luther Reynolds, commander of Montgomery’s Germantown police district.

The suspects will be charged with any or all of three offenses: theft, conspiracy to commit theft, and disorderly conduct.

This more recent round-up of flash-mob suspects indicates that this trend could be fading away.

Investigators took advantage of the security video, breaking it down into still images.  They showed these to an officer who works in area schools and to principals and the names started pouring in.

Police learned that the youths rode a bus from the county fair to the Germantown area and started talking to one another.  Someone came up with the idea to hit the 7-Eleven.

“Most of these kids are good kids who didn’t think this through,” added Reynolds.

Happy Teenagers Less Likely to Commit Crimes

Often teenagers are thought to be moody and withdrawn, but new research indicates that the benefits of a happy teen are more than just smiles and laughs.  The research shows that having a happy teen will help deter them from committing crime and using drugs. reports that Bill McCarthy, a UC-Davis sociology professor and Teresa Casey, a postdoctoral researcher, wrote a paper entitled “Get Happy! Positive Emotion, Depression and Juvenile Crime.”

The researchers found that about 29% of youth surveyed (15,000 teens in all) reported committing at least one criminal offense.  18% admitted to using at least one illegal drug.  After correlating these reports with self-assessments of emotional well-being, researchers found that teens who indicated that they were more depressed than happy were more likely to have been involved in crime or drug use compared to those who viewed themselves as being more often happy, reports  Even youth with minor depression were much more likely to commit crime or use drugs.

A study by Harris Interactive found that most kids between the ages of 13 and 18 define happiness as a state of being – “Simply being happy, no matter what I do.”  Most teens believe that happiness is an achievable goal.  In addition, parents can support kids by finding their own happiness.  Yet another study found that when parents were depressed or aggressive toward their children, depressive symptoms increased among the teens.  Poor parental behavior also predicted increases in depression.

MyVisonic App can Manage your PowerMax Alarm System from Anywhere, Anytime

Whether you’re at home, at work, on a business trip, or on vacation, the MyVisonic App lets you control your Visonic PowerMax alarm system locally and remotely.  You can arm and disarm the alarm system, view the status of various system devices, view the protected premises via installed cameras, and control X-10 compliant home appliances.

Using MyVisonic, with the PowerLink2 (PLINK2) web portal, homeowners on the move can utilize the Apple iPhone, iPad, and/or iPodTouch to easily control their PowerMax home security system.

Again, homeowners can arm or disarm their security system, view system’s status, view live and alarm time recorded video from wireless and wired IP cameras, and actually pan or tilt supported IP cameras.  In addition, homeowners can set up the system to notify them by email or text message whenever security, safety, home devices, or camera events occur.

“We are excited to deliver the MyVisonic application to homeowners, allowing them to better protect their properties and families and provide them peace of mind wherever they are” commented Avi Katz, Visonic Product Manager.

With the MyVisonic App, you will have access to all menu points of your PowerLink2.

“Homeowners can enjoy the elegant, easy- to use Apple iPhone touchscreen interface to control their PowerMax security system and monitor their property in real time even if they are on the move.”

Burglars Caught on Video by Lorex Surveillance

In mid May, Jose Alonso’s wife came home to find her house in the Quebrada Arriba de Cayey neighborhood in Puerto Rico had been broken into.  The thieves made off with $4,000 worth of stolen goods, including a television and some jewelry.  Alonso knew that it was two burglars who broke into his house in broad daylight because he caught the armed culprits on video with his Lorex Surveillance System that he had bought at Home Security Store.

“I bought the system for under $400 and set it up myself.  I had it up and running in less than one hour.    It was also easy to program.  The cameras can be setup to record once motion is detected or can be set to a schedule,” Alonso told Home Security Store.

Alonso and his wife quickly went to the local police department and showed investigators the surveillance footage, which showed the suspects prying open a door, entering the home, and then walking out the door with the loot.  In turn, the police went to the media releasing the footage and suspect descriptions.

“From the footage you could see what the two suspects were wearing and how tall they are.  You could also clearly see that one suspect has a star tattoo on the back of his neck,” Alonso said.

The suspects were also armed with a silver 357 revolver and other pistols.  The images of the suspects were broadcast on local TV news stations and the video was posted on the front page of the online version of the main newspaper in Puerto Rico (El Nuevo Dia).

Investigators have received several anonymous tips, but the suspects are still at large.  Since the burglary, Alonso has added two more cameras to his existing Lorex system.  Therefore, the perimeter of his home is covered and so too is the driveway.  Alonso says if someone drives near his home, he will now be able to capture on video the car’s license plate.