May-June 2014 | SOUNDING THE ALARM

The Alarm Engineering team
J.C. & Brent Willin, Alarm Engineering customersSOUNDING THE ALARMSOUNDING THE ALARMSOUNDING THE ALARM

RIGHT AT HOME

SOUNDING THE ALARM

The Willins of Seaford learned that timing is everything after two separate instances of attempted burglary threatened their security. Fortunately, the Seaford farm family knew exactly who to call

Written By: Nick Brandi | Photographer: Grant L. Gursky

As much as we might like to pretend it’s not true, sometimes lightning really does strike twice. It certainly did with the Willin family of Seaford. Fortunately, Alarm Engineering had their backs.

“I called Alarm Engineering right after the home of a guy I knew was broken into, about 8 or 10 miles from my house,” recalled J.C. Willin, a fourth-generation farmer. “Among the things the burglars stole was the homeowner’s handgun, which they used to shoot at the guy’s son as he pulled into the driveway. Thank God the boy wasn’t injured, but that was enough for me.”

J.C. added that within a week, Alarm Engineering had his brand-new system in place. 

“My family knew about Alarm Engineering from my church congregation,” J.C. said, “so we were already familiar with their solid reputation for quality products and great service. I’m also not a big fan of the national alarm companies; I don’t really trust them. Alarm Engineering is Eastern Shore local, and I like that.”

Though J.C. reports having felt much safer once the system was installed, he also learned firsthand that timing is everything, since that same system would be put to the test not even two weeks later.

“It happened on a Sunday, while we were at church,” J.C. said. “Two guys tried to break into my house by kicking in my doors, but I had Kwikset deadbolt locks, which kept them out. They finally got in by throwing a cement block through my sliding glass door, activating the motion detectors.”

J.C. was notified of the break-in instantaneously, but because his system was so new, he thought that he’d done something wrong, which prompted him to cancel the police dispatch. Fortunately, the blaring alarm siren frightened the would-be burglars, who fled the premises empty-handed.

Meanwhile, J.C.’s son, Brent, who works with his dad every day on their 1,200-acre farm, obviously saw the handwriting on the wall because within a month, he, too, brought in Alarm Engineering to protect his home.

At age 29, Brent favors technological interactivity and doesn’t mind a few bells and whistles along the way. He went for a solution that features not only a beautiful touchscreen graphical interface but motion detectors so sophisticated, they may be programmed to ignore the motion of family pets. Brent’s system even protects his HVAC units, which have seen an increasing number of thefts and vandalism in recent years for the copper components they contain.

To make his system even more flexible, Brent opted for Alarm Engineering’s wireless cellular connection, which allows communication with the central station without the need for a separate landline. The cellular connection also offers exclusive “Crash and Smash” technology, which sends an alarm signal to the central station even if the burglar attempts to damage or destroy the panel. This platform may also be used to control the home’s locks, lights, video, garage door and thermostat.

All those features and technical sophistication came in exceptionally handy one December afternoon that same year, while Brent was busy working in the fields.

“I received text messages and a call from the central station that they had a motion alarm from the side door of the house and some of the interior rooms,” Brent said. “I thought it was a false alarm, so I told them not to dispatch the police, but I didn’t want to take any chances, so I hopped in my truck and drove to the house myself.”

When he arrived there less than two minutes later, he saw someone in a green conversion van pulling out of his driveway. Brent cautiously followed the van in his truck while the call center stayed on the phone with him and alerted law enforcement. After a pursuit that lasted almost 30 minutes and had crossed into Maryland, Brent had the satisfaction of seeing the suspect ensnared by a police roadblock, where he was apprehended. Following his arrest, the perpetrator was linked to other burglaries in the area.

“I have so much more peace of mind with this system,” shared Brent, who, with wife Julie, is eagerly anticipating the July birth of their first child. “That’s not only for the security it provides but also for the way it can monitor the entire activity of my house, whether that means letting me know when a door is open that should be closed or that my child is home from school on time. You can’t put a price on that.”


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