Author Topic: Tasked w/researching security options for HOA  (Read 636 times)


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Tasked w/researching security options for HOA
« on: June 29, 2017, 09:36:18 AM »
At the recent public HOA meeting, a resident reported not one but TWO break-ins to their storage unit, located in a separate building from the condos.  Value of items stolen was crazy: owner is a rep for a medical equipment supply company & all the demo stock was taken, along with a treasured bike, approx $28k worth of stuff. Padlock had been picked both times. Current opinion is that owner was observed transferring equipment between vehicle & unit & deliberately targeted and the thief came back because of course that stuff needs to be replaced. Owner lives in a 3rd floor condo (no elevators) so I get why stuff was kept in the storage unit. Someone else noted that there had also been an incident of someone dumpster diving and opening & going through every bag in there, reading papers, etc.

Cue completely predictable freak-out by everyone present.

This 228-unit complex is about 12 years old and does not appear to be built utilizing crime prevention through environmental design techniques. The storage buildings (there are 2 with 30 units each) have only power, no phone or coax for network connectivity. Any location with a cam or access control point (door/gate) will need to have supporting infrastructure run to it (probably surface-run wires in conduit). Residents are about 50/50 owners & tenants. Monthly HOA meetings usually average around a dozen in attendance (but there were lots more at this one).

Access to the property is via 2 vehicle gates (one locked at 10PM by night manager [this is NOT a security guard position]) plus 2 pedestrian gates (both locked at 10PM). Night managers are hired & paid by the HOA's management company. We are reviewing this contract this summer. Currently, the outer doors to the residential buildings are not secured. It appears that at least some of our problems are occurring in broad daylight because so many are gone at work. I watched 3 random cars stop and dump trash in the dumpster across from my place yesterday and NONE of them live here. Yes, I took pix cuz I couldn't get downstairs fast enough to speak to them.

I have made contact with the local police dept's neighborhood officer to request a meeting to form a Neighborhood Watch. The HOA Board has already decided to build doors to limit access to the hallways serving the storage units, adding a layer of delay/deterrence. I have also toured the property with 3 local vendors of security services and discussed cameras, limited access via fobs/smartphone apps, etc. 

Commercial grade security is expensive: $2k/door for limited access (20 doors across 5 buildings plus 2 vehicle gates & the 2 storage buildings) and $800-$2K each for cameras depending on what we need them to do (IR, zoom/pan, etc). Plus the costs of running all the supporting wiring, which will be staggering.

Everything I've been reading talks more about building your COMMUNITY as being a greater deterrent to crime than spending piles of money on systems. I have been playing around with fun scripts for signage for the dumpsters, something like:

Hi! Iím the SUPER nosy neighbor taking your picture right now!
Yes, my camera IS good enough to see your smiling face!
And your middle finger (lol).
And record your license plate number.
See, we already know who lives here.
And now we know who is trespassing
and using our dumpsters illegally.


Neighborhood Camera Club

Not sure if I should run that by the BOD or just "volunteer" to put it up for lols.

What am I missing? And thanks for your input & suggestions.