Audio Surveillance Solutions Reduce Donation Thefts

The complete surveillance solution enables centralized remote control and monitoring for multiple store locations.

Barix AG is helping Goodwill Industries of East Texas reduce theft and vandalism at its stores by adding voice to its existing video surveillance systems. The security team reports a 99% donation retention since installing Barix’s two-way IP audio and monitoring solutions at three locations, with plans to roll out the technology across all 15 regional stores.

Goodwill has long used a CCTV network to monitor and record visitors as they drop off donations at store exteriors — and capture evidence of criminal activity. They recently began looking at ways to communicate directly with visitors when necessary.

“I had this idea that the thefts would stop or subside if we could communicate with subjects, let them know they are being recorded, and warn them to leave the property before we call the police. And we have had a significant reduction in theft and vandalism since adding Barix,” said Chris Ryter, loss prevention and safety manager for Goodwill Industries of East Texas.

Ryter was looking for an IP-based audio solution that could complement his CCTV system but operate independently with low overhead costs. He also required a solution that offered centralized monitoring, simple installation and a quick learning curve with overall ease of use. He opted for Barix Annuncicom 200 two-way IP audio devices for public address, and Barix ICGraph software for centralized remote device control and location monitoring.

Ryter noted that the Annuncicom 200 design simplifies installation through Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability, offering a single connection to a network switch and loudspeaker. The integrated amplifier reduces equipment costs and infrastructure, with plenty of power to drive intelligible human voice at store exteriors. But he stressed that ICGraph was the key driver of the system, offering a series of 36 customizable buttons that allow security personnel to target announcements to one or more locations with a simple mouse click.

“Barix specializes in bringing the ‘ears’ and the ‘mouth’ to go with the ‘eyes’ in professional surveillance solutions,” said Johannes G. Rietschel, CEO and founder of Barix AG. “Barix is capable of directly integrating audio capabilities into video systems, or providing low-cost solutions for customers like Goodwill Industries of East Texas that wish to use audio solutions autonomously. The common goal is helping our customers better communicate with subjects, from general public address and intercom capability to reducing or eliminating criminal activity through alarms and verbal warnings.”

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