Coffee shop goes high-tech to combat break-ins

Owners of Chairs Coffee say the same person showing up on their surveillance cameras at night appear when other businesses in the area are being broken into, and they think there’s a correlation between their video and a rash of break-ins around Spokane.

The coffee shop owners have night-vision cameras linked to their iPhones so, when a would-be burglar trips the motion sensors, they’re alerted by e-mails and can watch the cameras in real-time.

Chris Nichols and Mitchell Moczulski have owned Chairs Coffee since February and they’ve been broken into twice since, and lately someone keeps showing up on camera, peering into their shop. It began two Tuesdays ago, and then again this past Tuesday.

“Again, the same gentleman was caught on camera and then a couple of our guests the next morning said two cars across the street were broken into,” owner Nichols said.

To fight back they put the videos on YouTube, another benefit of their tech savvy security system.

That security system caught the attention of the Spokane Police Department.

“The detective that came in today said that you know it’s great that you have this good quality video rather than some hazy you know, you can’t see what’s actually going on and that’s been something that’s helped them and that’s why they came to us this morning,” Chris Nichols said.

Chris and Mitchell want all small businesses to know that it doesn’t cost a fortune to protect yourself and your neighbors. The cameras set them back about $150 and the app on their iPhone that lets them view the cameras at any time from anywhere is just $5.

It’s an investment that’s given them piece of mind during the months when break-ins increase.

“There’s a sense of security with the cameras that we do have, it does calm our nerves,” Moczulski said.