Active Surveillance Is An Effective Way To Prevent Apartment Car Theft

October 28th, 2021

Car thieves will often target apartment parking lots and garages in and around Chico, CA when they’re looking for something to steal.  With so many people coming and going they don’t look suspicious, and since there are so many in one place they can quietly move from one car to another checking the doors until they find one that’s unlocked.  That or they break the window in the middle of the night.  After that they climb in, hotwire the ignition, and get away as fast as they can.

Car theft is a serious crime, and it’s a serious problem.  All too often the police can’t do much to help after the fact because many of these stolen vehicles go straight to a chop shop where the operators change the color and the license plates or else tear the vehicle apart and sell the pieces.  So what can apartment managers do about the problem?

Surveillance Works

While car thieves could target the crowded parking lots around grocery stores and big-box department stores, they usually don’t.  Why?  Because businesses that stay open late enough to have customers at night will also fill their parking lots with cameras and have their security staff watching the feeds.  This allows them to notice a theft immediately and call the police, and they can react fast enough to catch thieves before they even leave the parking lot.

Live Monitoring Is Key

Of course, the most important factor in that last example is the fact that someone is actively watching the camera feeds and not checking the recordings later.  These recordings can certainly help, but thieves often wear clothes that conceal their faces and don’t give the police much to go on.  It’s good to have proof someone stole it when you’re filing an insurance claim, but it doesn’t help with much else.  However, someone watching the feed live can do something, which is what makes it important to have that.

You Have Low-Cost Options

Not every apartment complex can afford to hire a full-time security staff, especially if the primary duty is to watch camera footage and call the police if something happens.  Fortunately, apartment managers have more affordable alternatives.  Thanks to modern technology, wireless cameras can send their footage across the property or across the world in about the same time, and so many security companies offer their clients a service that has them monitor your camera feeds and contact the local police if they see something suspicious.  This service is less costly than a full-time employee and more effective than a recording.

Deterrence is just as important as theft prevention, so when you get your security system make sure you add signs that warn people there are actively monitored cameras around.  This should help prevent thefts from happening in the first place, although it won’t stop every thief from trying their luck by calling what they think is a bluff.  With both in place, your apartment’s parking lot or garage area will be a much safer place to store cars in Chico, CA.

What Our Customers Say

"I had the Alibi system installed several years ago. It has functioned flawlessly. The image quality is exellent both night and day and in all weather conditions. I particularly like the replay (which can be set at various speeds) and zoom functions of the system. Tech support from Crimefreeliving has been excellent. I have received quick responses to questions, and timely home visits — as when I changed IP carriers and my Alibi system needed to be reset. I have recommended Crimefreeliving to several friends."


"As a small business owner here in Chico we definitely saw the need for video surveillance. After expressing our needs and concerns Tim did an excellent job getting us set up with the set up with the appropriate equipment. He really took the time to address our concerns in a very friendly, professional and knowledgeable manner. I highly recommend Tim for all of your business and residential video surveillance needs."

Ron H., Owner/Auto Doctor

"I have to say I love having my security cameras at my home. Tim Truby did a wonderful job of installing the five cameras. He is very neat and cleaned everything up after the installation. He explained to me how to operate the monitor, my phone and IPad. However, I have had to call Tim because I'm not tech savvy and forget what he has told me. He usually just helps me over the phone and then all is well. I'm 80 years old and enjoy the comfort of knowing I have these security cameras."


"Tim Truby designed and installed a 32 camera system for us here at the Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District. We had received several other quotes from security system vendors, but Tim’s quote was the least expensive. Tim also installed the system quickly and has always been available when we needed him. We are very happy with our security camera system and we can highly recommend Tim Truby for all of your surveillance system needs."

D. Weseman, Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District

Crime Free Living updated our old video system with a new 16 Channel HD Alibi Video Security System. The old system had been added onto by different installers which resulted in a cabling mess. There were cables that worked and cables that went nowhere. It was a mess. Tim sorted it all out and installed cameras that are very clear. He also installed a monitor for our cashiers to watch hidden areas, a monitor to watch the entry door, and a monitor that allows employees to watch the outside parking and gas pump area. All work was done on time and very professional! Will always recommend Tim and Crime Free Living.

S. AM PM Chico Arco Station

"I had Tim install an Alibi Video Security System at my residence and a couple business locations. The remote view option is invaluable to absentee owners or anyone who travels a lot. The clarity and quality of the cameras have allowed for viewing employee theft. The evidence provided from the HD video cameras was fantastic! Tim was professional and provided extra value from his law enforcement background."

J. Folsom Arco Station

"Tim, I want to thank you again for doing such a fantastic job on installing a wireless IP security camera system at our dream home. The extra time that you took to hide wires, and install a clean, professional system is much appreciated. I still can’t believe the clarity, quality, and ease of use of this new system. I wished that I would have met you before our original inferior system was installed by another company. Now, whether I am at home, or monitoring the system from around the world, I know that my home and family are safe and sound."

John M.

"In April of 2017, my husband and I made a phone call to Crime Free Living that turned out to be a smart and wise decision. Amazingly, in just a few hours, Tim installed four Dome Security Cameras, weatherproof enclosures, and hooked up into our home a 23" Full HD Widescreen Security Monitor. Even more than his professional expertise was the time spent with us in making sure that this system was working correctly and properly installed on our phones so that anywhere in our travels we can monitor our new home in Magalia."

Tieka and Don S.

"I have been using Crime Free Living for the last couple years ar work and at home and I really recommend this product. Tim is a very good service provider. If he can't figure it out, he's got good tech support with the system that he offers."

Gary D.

"I have known Tim for over 10 years. To date, Time with Crime Free Living has installed two separate surveillance systems for my company. With each system, Tim has listened to my needs and custom dsigned surveillance systems for my specific needs and within my budget. The equipment used is always state of the art, the workmanship is top notch, and Tim is the example of trustworthy. I would recommend him for any job."

Steve D., Down Range Indoor Training Center

images Certifications & Training

With 16 years of experience in law enforcement, Tim Truby, CEO, is fully certified in video surveillance and training.

  • Certified Advanced Crime Prevention Specialist
  • Academy Instructor Certification
  • California POST Certification in Specialized Surveillance Equipment
  • California POST Certification in Basic Crime Prevention
    • Advanced Crime Prevention through Environmental Design
    • Certified Alibi Security Dealer
    • Enhanced Risk and Threat Assessment (FEMA)
    • Incident Command System (100 & 200)
    • Certified Cognitech Video Forensic Investigator
    • Neighborhood Watch Toolkit Trainer
    • Computer Crimes/Investigations
    • Domestic Crisis for Crisis Negotiators