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  • Hidden Camera Discovered in Chicago Suburban Walgreens

    Perry Myers is interviewed by Mike Puccinelli of CBS affiliate news reporter at the Morton Grove, U-Spy Store.  Mike and Perry discuss the potential for the DesPlaines police department to make an arrest based on the possibility of evidence obtained from the hidden camera found in the Walgreen's bathroom.   Read More

  • Home Surveillance Cameras Catching More People In The Act - U-Spy Store Chicago

    CBS Chicago interviewed the President of the U-Spy Store concerning the value of placing security cameras at the front door of your residence or business.  The interview took place on Friday, December 30, 2016, and aired on January 3, 2017, at the Chicago U-Spy Store location at 2406 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60647.

    Read More

  • Home Security - Fall Safety Tips to Keep You and Your Family Safe

    The fall season is a time when we are tempted to sleep with open windows. Who doesn't like that crisp, autumn air and a chance to turn off our air-conditioners? Unfortunately, open windows pose a security risk.

    Recent news stories have covered several home invasions in the city of Chicago. These invasions took place in what are typically known as quiet, safe neighborhoods. Burglars entered through open windows. Fortunately, burglars (who were entering between the hours of 3:00 a.m. - 6:00 a.m.) haven't thus far awakened those sleeping in the homes. They stole valuables, but no one was faced with the unknown of what could happen if a burglar is caught in the act.

    There are many ways to keep your home and family safe that won't break the bank. When you think of the money we all spend on unnecesary items, I think it's safe to say securing your safety is worth the investment.

    For starters, statistics show that burglars will avoid homes that are well lit, have alarm systems and surveillance cameras. Invest in some lights for the outside of your home. You can install lights that remain on at all times or motion detector lights. The one I've linked here comes on when someone crosses its path and then begins to record/film the area. U-Spy Store carries many affordable home alarms systems that don't require monthly monitoring fees. If burglars see any of these protection devices, they will choose another home that isn't protected and prepared.

    Consider installing indoor motion detectors. We even carry a motion detector that is "pet immune" for pets weighing up to 60 lbs. Place wireless motion alert alarms in your driveway or near your garage. If an intruder is on your property, these detectors will set off alarms.

    You can also install "glass break alarms" on your windows or sliding glass doors. If you must sleep with an open window, there are products that will allow your window to remain open, but allow you to lock the window in a position that prevents it from being opened further. However, for added security, I would install the glass break alarms I mentioned above.

    Lastly, keep your cell phone near your bed while sleeping. If any of the products you may decide to purchase have remotes with panic buttons, keep them near your bed. They won't do you any good if you can't access them immediately. I also keep pepper spray next to my bed. Although I hope to never be a victim of a crime, I do know I will be prepared to defend myself if someone enters my home.

  • Illegal "Dumpers" Caught with Video Surveillance

    In Springfield, Mass.,  police announced that 13 people had been caught dumping household trash and furniture in a wooded area near town. The alleged illegal dumpers were recorded by hidden camera detectors placed near the area in an investigation that included aid from both state, and local officials. This, according to the Springfield Republican. Read More

  • Words from the Boss: Cloned Debit Cards Add to ATM Thefts

    Technology makes our lives easier, or at least it's supposed to; yet, as our understanding  improves and complicated processes, such as computer programming, become more user-friendly,  some decide to use these innovations to prey upon others.

    ATM skimming-devices, for instance, have evolved from clunky, obvious pieces of fake auto-bank teller equipment to sleek, undetectable theft devices that are unnoticeable to untrained eyes. As the equipment becomes better, the criminals grow in sophistication, often stealing hundreds of thousands in others' money before being discovered. Read More

  • Chicago's Highway Surveillance System

    The Chicago Police Department, and retiring Mayor Daley, want to take Chicago's surveillance system to the highway. The ambitious plan, announced earlier this year, is to install some 200 cameras along interstate highways between Chicago and Mexico. The camera's function is to take pictures of license plates and cross-reference them to known images of smuggler, drug traffickers, and gun runners. Read More

  • Video Voyeur Captures Himself On Camera...

    A 54-year-old Marion County, Florida man was arrested after a tip led authorities to a hidden camera containing over 300 images of people using his bathroom, officials claimed on Monday.

    Edward John Phillips, age 54, of Reddick, FL, faces two counts of voyeurism using a video camera; one of the counts is juvenile voyeurism due to images that depict a person under the age of sixteen. Police claim that Phillips used a video game camera that is designed to take pictures when movement is detected. The camera was hidden inside a bathroom closet facing the toilet. Read More

  • Hotels Top Identity Theft List

    Identity theft is the new watchword; hackers, thieves and criminals are continually discovering new methods to twist technology in an effort to steal personal information. Social media networks, cell phones, discarded utility bills and outright theft of personal property are all means employed by thieves to hijack your personal information.

    Trustwave, a security and compliance company, provides security information services and end-to-end solutions for businesses in an effort to protect confidential information systems. A recent report shows that hotels are now the top source for credit card data theft, surpassing restaurants for the top spot; nearly 40% of all personal data in 2009 came from hotels/motels compared to just 13% of thefts from restaurants.

    Hackers target hotel/motel booking and reservation centers due to the high-number of credit card numbers these entities keep "on-file." Like the Internet, once a credit card is in the system, it's available. A successful hacker can steal thousands of credit card numbers and, in essence, thousands--or millions--of dollars. Credit card numbers are used for numerous hotel services, such as bars, beaches, golf courses, swimming pools, gift shops, spas, and other recreational areas; however, they're all processed through one main database.

    Since hotels use proprietary systems, they're easy for hackers to exploit: a computer system at one hotel is similar, if not exactly the same, as the computer system at a competing hotel.

    The other unavoidable fact of hotels and motels are the number of employees who have access to the computer system and your personal data. According to an ABC News Report; "You have so many different employees going through the system that it allows them to either skim cards or put in malware that lets the bad guys hack into the system."

    In June 2010, Destination Hotels & Resorts had its computer system hacked and the credit card data of more than 700 guests from across the country was stolen; in January, Wyndham reported that their computer systems were breached and hackers accessed information from 31 hotels between November 2009 and January 2o1o. They never reported how many cards were compromised.

    Credit card companies usually don't require consumers to pay for unauthorized charges, but credit card users must report the theft in a timely manner to ensure their identity remains safe; the best method to is to check statements regularly and keep tabs on credit reports.

  • When Transformers Needs CCTV Equipment, They Call The U-Spy Store

    It was Friday, July 16, 2010 at 4:45pm when we received a call at our U-Spy Store Chicago location from the production crew for the movie Transformers currently being shot in downtown Chicago. The Transformers producer knew what she wanted but didn't exactly know what it was called. She described the product as being a larger bullet or cylindrical shaped camera that can automatically pan back and forth with a controller. But she in fact already had the described camera. All she really needed was the mount that could move the camera as well as the controller.

    Quickly our team contacted several of our area vendors who are scattered all over the Chicagoland area. One by one, our vendors told us the same story. This is actually very old technology replaced by the dome shaped PTZ camera. But the producers made it clear they did not want the more modern dome shaped PTZ. They needed something that could move the large bullet camera. It's all about the visuals and in a movie, capturing the mood and atmosphere is much more important that having the latest technology.

    After about 10 calls, we finally struck gold. We found the controller and panning mechanism in one of our vendors located in the Northwest Suburban area. It was now 5:06 and we needed to get approval, payment and retrieve the equipment before the 6pm closing time. About 5:30, after a flurry of calls and emails with attachments of images showing what the mechanism looked like, we received their approval.

    Now the hard part for us arrives. We needed to get to the vendor by 6 to pick up the equipment and find a willing U-Spy Store team member to personally deliver the equipment. Gabriel was heading back to the office after a long day of service calls. I called him and he agreed to delay the start of his weekend by a couple of hours by diverting his route home and stop at the vendor. He arrived minutes before close and then called me to say he couldn't make it on time. Gabriel likes to practical joke but didn't terrorize me too long. He said he had the equipment in hand and wanted to know what to do next.

    Meanwhile, back at U-Spy headquarters, German was more than willing to drive the equipment down to the Chicago Loop area to personally deliver the goods and perhaps get that Hollywood career jump started. I made sure that German had everything they needed to make things work including power supply, wiring and connectors.

    A better than average Friday afternoon rush hour helped make things run smoothly and soon German took the hand off from Gabriel and was delivering the much anticipated equipment to the movie set. At 7:57pm I received a text message indicating Operation Transformers was completed. A little more than 3 hours after the call, our U-Spy team accomplished our mission. Damn good on a Friday afternoon!

    Did we save the movie? Probably! Would the movie have figured out a way to continue shooting and production without The U-Spy Store? Probably not! Is the movie going to get 4 stars, 2 thumbs up and favorable reviews because The U-Spy Store saved the day? Absolutely Yes! In fact I am personally endorsing this movie right now by stating this will be the Movie of the Year!. Any questions of payoffs should be discussed with our legal team as soon as the trail of our former governor is complete.

    So the moral of this is, when you need something fast and hard to find, give The U-Spy Store call. Even when shooting a B movie, The U-Spy Store will transform that script into an Academy Award winner. Or at least a movie that was saved by The U-Spy store and not in the editing room. And remember to keep an eye out for those panning cameras and remember who saved the day? The U-Spy Store!

  • U.S. & Russian Spy Rings Mimic Hollywood

    If you've been reading or watching the news lately, you undoubtedly know that the United States and Russia are in the midst of a so-called spy swap.  On June 27, the FBI arrested 10 people on charges that they were deep-cover spies working for the Russian government but living for years in the United States. Their job, according to the DOJ, was to determine U.S. "secrets by making connections to think tanks and government officials." Read More

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