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Industrial Facility Calls On Buffalo Video Surveillance Company To Catch Thieves



Jon Chmielowiec, manager of Upstate Steel, needed to increase the security around his family’s business. When he noticed a strange flatbed frequenting the neighborhood around his workplace, the need for greater security, including video cameras, became critical. His company was a target for after hours pilfering of the manufactured metal products stored on the lot.

The old security system that they’d used for years was antiquated and needed an update. Chmielowiec wanted a system that used modern technology so that he could monitoring security access and video at multiple buildings on one site and at another facility miles away. He also wanted to take advantage of some new benefits:

  • Remote Control: Remote arming and disarming of his security system
  • Visibilty: The ability to see who was entering any one of several buildings at either facilities
  • Cameras: Closed-circuit surveillance to protect his business
  • Advanced Technology: Since the company that installed the original security system was unable to provide the newer technology, Chmielowiec wanted to find a security partner that was “cutting edge.” It was important that the new company help him understand the new trends in security.
  • Support: Since Upstate Steel was a growing business, Chmielowiec also wanted the new company to be “more accessible and attentive" to his changing needs.


Since Upstate Steel had multiple buildings at two locations that were miles apart and needed security that could monitor open and close reports for each, SHIELD installed several linked systems that could be controlled by the same device.  That way, Chmielowiec could log into any of the system reports to see the activity for that day and would have a clear summary of the schedules of each of his employees.  His cell phone, tablet and computer were all programmed to fetch the data that gave Chmielowiec complete flexibility given that he could login from anywhere. Additionally, SHIELD recommended security cameras be placed throughout his facility to monitor activity in the buildings and on the grounds.

Technology Specifics

Security System

Upstate Steel used Honeywell’s Vista 21IP Security System with a Custom Text Alphanumeric Keypads and SHIELD’s Total Connect Services for remote access and control of the alarm systems.  Utilizing AlarmNet GSM/LTE cellular data communications, to supplement Internet and telephone connections, the reliability of the security systems increased substantially from the previous system which utilized “dial up communications from a VoIP telephone system. Upstate Steel’s monitoring was also upgraded to a UL® Certified Central Station, a more comprehensive monitoring solution. By adding fire detection equipment, Chmielowiec could rest east knowing that he had all of his security needs covered.

Security Cameras

Chmielowiec elected to add numerous digital cameras to his security plan which are recorded 24/7 by a network video recorder (NVR) which gave him about 90 days of stored video.  The interior, color, dome cameras offer low light, and no light infrared viewing. The exterior, color, dome cameras are housed in vandal resistant enclosures that can take a direct impact from a prick or even a sledgehammer and are IP68 Weather Rating which is the highest in the industry and certified to be weather proof. In fact, they are waterproof and can be submerged!  In the harsh Western New York winters, this is a true benefit.  Recording is only efficient if the software is easy to use and if events are easy to find.  The NVR SHIELD implemented is easy to use and, in seconds, can detect movement (or theft) of a spot as small as a coffee mug over a 90-day period.

Key Results

...Within weeks of the installation of the video surveillance system, Upstate Steel recovered several thousand dollars of steel by examining the video footage captured by the cameras.

Chmielowiec is thrilled with all the components of the new system. The ability to access any of his systems remotely helps him manage his time more efficiently, and the ability to see the activity on the lot (especially during off-hours) has paid off already. Within weeks of the installation of the video surveillance system, the Cheektowaga Police Department had arrested two suspects driving the suspicious flatbed trailer back and forth from his lot. Turns out, Upstate Steel recovered several thousand dollars of steel by examining the video footage captured by the cameras. It was clear that the two suspects had targeted Chmielowiec’s business and spent the better part of a weekend stealing from his lot.

“It worked! …We caught some guys stealing stuff out of the yard,” said Chmielowiec. “You guys (SHIELD) were the perfect blend of small enough to pay attention to detail, but large enough that you could handle the project and grow with us."