Midway Car Rental needed an improved security system to help protect its vehicle lots. With 15 car rental locations in Southern California, some of its newest locations didn’t have secure perimeter fencing.
When Midway opened a new location to provider loaner and replacement vehicles for an adjacent dealership, the lot had been populated by vagrants and the homeless.
“When we took over the property, we needed to provide a safe and secure environment where we could conduct business,” said Sean Perez, Midway’s general manager. “There were issues with vandalism and graffiti. Some of the displaced homeless would get aggressive. We needed a proactive solution – a way to stop these incidents from happening rather than trying to prosecute the individuals after the damage was done.”
Several of Midway’s locations have electronically secure gates or fences to help restrict access. But as Midway continues to expand, many of its future sites could face security issues.
Midway decided to purchase ROSA (Responsive Observation Security Agents) units to better protect its vehicle lots. Developed by Robotic Assistance Devices (RAD), ROSA is a compact security system that can be deployed in about 15 minutes. ROSA’s security systems include human and vehicle detection, license plate recognition, responsive digital signage and audio messaging, and integration with RAD’s software suite notification and response library.
“The folks from RAD sent out an engineer to help us determine where to mount the ROSA units by identifying areas on our site that are most exposed to potential vandalism or other threats,” said Perez.
When the ROSA unit detects the motion of humans or vehicles on the lot, it sends an alert to Perez and his team along with a video clip. At night if the unit detects motion, it responds with flashing red lights and a visual warning to vacate immediately. If ROSA continues to detect motion, it will respond with more lights, sirens, and a pre-recorded audio message. Monitoring personnel can also send out commands over ROSA’s loudspeaker.
“I’ve watched when people encounter the system,” said Perez. “Initially, their reaction is one of shock and awe. When the unit goes off with its lights flashing and they hear those verbal commands, they’re terrified. Literally, in less than 10 days after we put those things out, the word had spread to stay away. The vagrants were gone. It was like night and day.”
Currently, Midway’s management has decided to monitor the system themselves. “With just two units in place, plus two more scheduled to go up in Newport Beach in the coming weeks, we can handle the monitor independently,” said Perez. “Within the next year or two, as we open new locations and add more units, we’ll take advantage of RAD’s monitoring services.”
In addition to protecting its vehicles, the ROSA units have also helped eliminate graffiti on the exterior of the buildings, stopped the homeless from tampering with its electrical outlets, and kept trash from being left around the property, according to Perez.
“Down the road, if we decide to move locations, our ROSAs move with us,” said Perez. “We heavily factored their ability to easily install, uninstall, and re-install ‘when deciding to go with this technology.”