Local Businesses Take New Approach to Fighting Crime

Many local business owners are scared... And that has them installing security cameras at record rates. The recent rash of business break-ins has many businesses making big changes.

In just the past few weeks, there have been nearly ten break-ins at local businesses. And that has many owners who once thought "it can't happen to me" now thinking that it most definitely can.

Welcome to central command at Allstate Securities in Amarillo... Where these last six months have been busier than the past five years. Owner Dale Elliot says, "Phenomenal is the word I would use. We have more business than we can say grace over."

He's has been in the security business for more than 40 years, and says he's never seen anything like it. "On the one hand I'm glad about it and on the other hand I'm sad about it because that means our community is being impregnated with more crime."

Crime that has businesses like the Martin Tipton pharmacy installing security cameras for the very first time. Pharmacist Mel Smalley says, "They cover of course our whole pharmacy, the drive up area, the front of the building, our parking lot."

The cameras are already helping to catch the bad guys. Smalley says, "They tried to bust through the drive up window. They tried to bust through the back door. They didn't get in the pharmacy, and they got their picture taken."

Over at Toot 'n Totum, they're hoping their high tech security system will catch the criminals who break into their stores as wells.

Melinda Batchelor says, "The camera system is tied in with the Amarillo Police Department. If it's necessary, they are able they are able to view in real time, any occurrence in our stores. Some of our stores even have audio so they can actually hear some things that are going on."

In another effort to deter criminals, all 24 hour Toot 'n Totum locations now have at least two people on duty.

Back over at Martin Tipton, they say the cameras haven't been up long, but they've already given them a piece of mind. Smalley says, "I definitely feel a little bit safer."