Fines lower false alarms in Winston-Salem, N.C.

According to alarm dealer, city's use of alarm systems is growing

The man, who Wood called "Spiderman," then tried to get into the center's medication room after the building was closed for the day, apparently to steal methadone. But he triggered an alarm and was caught by police outside of the building with a crowbar in his hand.

"He didn't get anything," Wood said, "but he tried."

-- Blair Goldstein can be reached at 727-7284 or at

Paying for false alarms

This is how the Winston-Salem Police Department sets fines for false burglary or fire alarms.

--First three alarms: No fine

--False alarms 4 or 5: $50 each

--False alarms 6 or 7: $100 each

--False alarms 8 or 9: $250 each

--10 or more false alarms: $500 each

Source: Winston-Salem city code

Top false-alarm offenders

The top five false-alarm offenders in Winston-Salem for 2006 and 2007 shows only one repeat offender, Forsyth Medical Center.

2006 Top 5 Burglary Fire Total

Insight Human Services, Fourth Street 12 1 13

Forsyth Medical Center 0 13 13

Moe's Southwest Grill, Griffith Road 13 0 13

TGI Friday's, Hanes Mall 11 1 12

Southern Community Bank, Shepherd Street 9 3 12

2007 Top 5 Burglary Fire Total

Forsyth Medical Center 0 25 25

Old Salem New Visitor Center 14 4 18

Old Vineyard Behavioral Health 0 15 15

Mineral Springs Elementary School 6 7 13

Gamestop, East Hanes Mill Road 12 0 12

Source: Winston-Salem Police Department

Copyright (c) 2008, Winston-Salem Journal, N.C. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.