Stopping Transients In Their Tracks: A Case Study With Cannon Management

May 21, 2019

“I remember coming here one weekend, and there were like 30 or 40 people camped out at my building.” — Peter Densmore, president of Cannon Management

Part of investing in a property is performing due diligence to make sure everything is in order. But sometimes, a building’s problems have nothing to do with the building itself.

In some cases, you may inherit a property’s security issues. That’s exactly what happened to Cannon Management. This is their story.

Inheriting trouble

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Cannon Management is a property management company with clients all over Southern California. In 2016, they purchased a new multi-tenant building and moved their corporate offices there.

Shortly after moving in, they began receiving complaints from their employees and other tenants in the building. At night, and on the weekends, transients were coming onto the property to use covered spaces around the building as areas to set up temporary camps.

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Some employees who would arrive early to work, or leave late, reported being afraid to walk across the parking lot because intimidating people were roaming the area or, in some cases, literally sleeping in front of the entrance.

Peter Densmore, president of Cannon Management, explains, “There’s a growing problem with transients and the homeless population in this area because it’s pretty close to a regional mall that has food and other amenities, so this is an attractive place to hang out.”

It wasn’t just tenant safety that was concerning. It was also the cost and hassle of cleanup.

One weekend, Densmore counted nearly 40 people camped out on the property. “Everyday was a pretty substantial cleanup of debris and much worse. Trust me,” says Densmore.

A new solution

For months, Cannon dealt with the problem by employing a drive-through security service. A security guard would pass through the property periodically and tell people to leave if they were camped out. Yet, it wasn’t effective.

Densmore recalls, “The people would get up and walk around the building and come right back.”

Cannon was a perfect candidate for a remote guarding system that utilized surveillance cameras with integrated analytics. This included:

  • High-definition cameras placed around the entire property that could detect any intrusion onto the property
  • Two-way audio connected from the cameras to highly trained remote guards
  • Remote guard services set up to monitor the property during non-business hours and weekends

Working together, Cannon’s security components now notify remote guards who prevent trespassing and other crimes. Here’s how it works:

  1. Surveillance camera detects an intrusion (like someone entering the property after hours)
  2. Within 60 seconds, a signal is sent to a remote guard, who verifies the alert by watching a live feed from the camera
  3. The guard uses two-way audio to inform the perpetrator that they are trespassing and need to leave immediately
  4. If they don’t leave, the guard notifies the drive-through security service or the police, depending on the situation

In the vast majority of cases, most transients would pack up and leave as soon as they found out they were being monitored. If they tried to go around the building and come back, they’d be met with the same live guard.

“That’s what really worked, the ability to talk down, and keep the people moving,” says Densmore.

Cannon gets immediate results


“There were three or more days a week that people literally couldn’t get out of their car. It went from a daily issue for us to being virtually non-existent. Matter of fact, I can’t remember the last time we had an issue.” — Peter Densmore, president of Cannon Management

After struggling to deal with the danger and frustration of a chronic encampment problem, Cannon found their solution with a remote guarding system. What was a regular problem has now become, at best, a rarity. Plus, their system has helped them with other issues such as illegal dumping.

“We very rarely will get somebody that drives in and tries to dump something in our dumpster. But we’ll catch them and tell them ‘You need to take that sofa with you, or we’ll notify the authorities with your description and license plate number,’” says Densmore.

Not all properties have the same problems as Cannon Management did. But no matter what your security needs are, we’re confident we can design the perfect system for you.

Our security experts will talk you through the best custom security solutions for your needs. Start exploring the basics today by checking out our free guide: Comparing Security Options For Your Business.