Homeowners Associations (HOA’s) play a very important role in modern suburban living. They allow communities to pool their collective resources to provide a high quality of life for residents while keeping costs low by sharing the expenses amongst a large group of homeowners. In the last couple of years, many suburban HOAs have seen a rise in auto theft and other property-related crimes that are now threatening the peace of mind and sanctity of their communities.
In Chicagoland, more neighborhoods are experiencing problems from criminals coming to their neighborhoods from other areas, often driving stolen cars, and with no other reason to be in the neighborhood. The Chicago Tribune reports that auto thefts are up 55% in the past year alone1. Not only in Chicago are these auto-related crimes a concern. Catalytic converter theft and other property-based crimes are still on the rise nationwide2.
Unfortunately, recent changes to laws and continual staffing shortages are making it extremely difficult for local police agencies to keep up with the ever-expanding criminal networks that are responsible for these crimes.
This is where HOAs and private citizens can become a part of the solution. While there are many methods for enhancing the security within an HOA, perhaps the easiest, and most effective is with License Plate Reader (LPR) cameras and software.
LPR systems can be quickly deployed, and securely share the license plates of passing cars with local police, automatically checking against a cloud database of wanted vehicles. Technology has advanced tremendously in recent years, allowing police departments to share information between agencies while maintaining the appropriate security for accessing the information to ensure the privacy of individuals driving the vehicle. It’s truly a force multiplier for local law enforcement agencies, benefitting from the community support and the added information to perform their critical jobs with the highest level of efficiency.
The Vigilant L6Q is the latest advancement in this technology area, which adds to an already robust product portfolio from Motorola for LPR equipment and cloud software. The L6Q is a small, solar-powered camera with the ability to scan plates 24/7, sharing those scans with the local police. The cameras don’t view drivers or passengers, but only scan the plates, and provide them to law enforcement for situational awareness or ongoing investigations. It’s a simple, yet powerful tool for providing an additional measure of security in an ever-evolving criminal environment.
An additional feature of the L6Q is its ability to tap into a nationwide database of LPR scans, giving the police a technological advantage in protecting your community from criminals that might be from outside the area.
Costs for the system can vary based on the unique circumstances of your HOA, but generally, the costs are very small when compared to the value they bring in terms of added security, and when shared amongst many homeowners within the community, it becomes even more affordable.
While it will never replace the sound security practices of turning on porch lights and locking doors, the added layer of LPR security can provide additional peace of mind, and better information and support to local law enforcement when they need it most.
Channick, R. (2023, March 10). Chicago auto theft skyrocketed 55% last year, up more than any other city in the US. Https://www.Chicagotribune.com/. https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-chicago-auto-theft-rising-20230309-dhtonxhjejattohdnwyvrsojpq-story.html
Minnis , G. (2023, March 14). Chicago fastest growing city for auto theft. Https://www.Daily-Journal.com/. https://www.daily-journal.com/news/illinois/chicago-fastest-growing-city-for-auto-theft/article_5d4d625a-c29b-11ed-a06c-bb87375dc94e.html