Our Grocery store got burglarized this morning at 5AM on the dot.

My alarm system sent me a text message.  I didn’t believe it so I logged into the camera system to see what was up.  Yep, someone covered the cameras so I called 911. Here is what I learned from this morning and from dealing with security and video systems in general:

1. Get IP video cameras.  They are more expensive but easier to deal with and access from outside your store.  I use Axis M1011 and higher end ones for outside.  You can purchase the Axis M011 at Geminicomputers.com.   Wired are better they won’t disconnect when you need them.

2. The best affordable IP camera software I have found is BlueIris and it is only $49.00.  Unfortunately camera systems will not be cloud based anytime soon since they take up to much bandwidth.

3. Have lights on motion detectors so when someone comes in after hours the store lights up and the cameras pick up the video.  Alternatively you could use infrared cameras but I think the bad guys will run away when the lights come on which is better.  (I didn’t have this but will very soon)

4. Make sure your real safe is bolted to the floor.  Our change safe was not bolted down and that is what they took.  But it was our decoy safe so it was not so bad.

5. Have an alarm system that makes lots of noise and can’t easily be turned off (i.e. has a built in battery in the siren).  The bad guys in this instance were in and out in 2 minutes I think because they couldn’t get the alarm to stop shreaking so the left in a hurry. We use Visonic Powermax alarms from the homesecuritystore.com.

6. Get an alarm system with SMS alerts so you know when your employees open and close the store and when the alarm goes off.  I prefer to use this method and call the police myself than to use a service.  The police come faster when you call them yourself.


ShopKeep Founder and CEO, Jason Richelson

About the Author

Jason Richelson is the Founder of ShopKeep. Jason opened a specialty food and wine store in 2004, which he grew to employ more than 70 people in the Brooklyn and lower Manhattan branches. As a retailer, Jason had many problems with his PC-based POS system, essentially crippling the business and inspiring him to design ShopKeep's iPad point of sale system.