Surveillance business booming in recent years

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - The phrase “caught on camera” is catching on with businesses in the St. Louis area.

Kevin White with St. Louis-based Tech Electronics reports an increase in hospitals utilizing video security systems.

“Health care is where we’ve probably seen the biggest surge,” he said.

White added that since the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre in Newton, Connecticut, more schools are investing in video security. White said a concern about crime is the primary reason for the increase. But he said changes in technology have also made a difference.

"That's probably the biggest reasons cameras have gone up so much, is because we're a mobile society,” White said. “We're used to doing things on the go. We're visual. We're used to watching a movie on the go. Or YouTube. Or anything else."

McCarthy Spice & Blends Manager Eric Klein agrees. His business recently opened a 58,000 square-foot facility, equipped with a half-dozen security cameras.

"You can zoom in where you can read a license plate from probably 50 feet away," he said.

The tool provides comfort to the company as it monitors the comings and goings in the parking lot. He added that at McCarthy’s old facility, thieves were able to make off with copper wiring. A less updated surveillance system made it difficult to track down the suspects, he said.

A basic camera system can range anywhere from $2,000 to $25,000. But Tech Electronics says the video pays for itself. Companies are more at ease, knowing they can now access their surveillance video from their phone, from a remote location.

"Small business owners especially, it's their livelihood, that's their business. It's their baby,” White said.

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