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Hi-tech DVR targets robbers

By Staff
WATCHING  Regina Purvis, an employee of the Xpress Lane convenience store on Highway 19 North, watches a computer monitor as surveillance cameras scan the aisles. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Fredie Carmichael/The Meridian Star
Nov. 2, 2001
Instead of scrolling through hours of surveillance tapes, convenience store owners in the area can now catch would-be robbers with technology that cuts to the chase.
Quick Communications in Meridian now offers a computer surveillance system called the digital video recorder. The DVR is a program that stores and catalogs footage from surveillance cameras.
The system can store up to three months of videotape images on one hard drive. Most surveillance systems use videotape that can only capture 24 hours at a time. The DVR also stops recording if there is no movement, which saves valuable hard drive space.
Responding to the increase in robberies
More armed robberies have occurred in Meridian so far this year than in all of 2000 and statistics indicate armed robberies increase in November and December.
Local records show most robberies occur between 3 p.m. and 11 p.m., and in south and southeastern portions of the city. They also show there is no information about suspects in 22 armed robberies committed in 2000.
Dolan hopes the DVR system can help change that.
How the system is working out
Dolan said he uses the new technology to monitor employees and suspicious customers at his store. He said the DVR system has provided evidence in at least one bad check case.
Local convenience store owners have also had a problem in the past with customers filling up at the gas pump and then leaving without paying.
Dolan said cameras positioned outside the stores, and linked to the DVR, will help stop that too.
Fredie Carmichael is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3228, or e-mail him at