Couple raises concerns about home security system

May 7, 2018 by KIRO 7

Home security systems are meant to make you feel safe.  But two local families called Jesse Jones after their security cameras made them feel anything but secure.

Cheryl Munn was alone in her Granite Falls home when she heard a noise coming up the stairs.

“It was a guy wearing a hoodie and a bandana over his nose and mouth with a crowbar and he had another weapon in his hand,” Munn explained.

Munn said it all happened in one terrifying moment.

“He told me ‘GET DOWN’ so I fell to the floor and then he had me scoot on the floor into a little room in my house,” Munn said.  “I just kept praying, ‘please don’t kill me.’”

The thieves broke in through a back door and stole jewelry and other items from their home and left.

“I looked at the house and saw that backdoor, the glass out of it was shattered and wide open,” Jeff Wikstrom explained.

Cheryl’s husband, Jeff Wikstrom, returned home after the break-in.

“I couldn’t find her,” Wiksrom said. “She wouldn’t answer me because she was so scared.  I thought they took her.”

He eventually found Munn, but the couple is still searching for peace.

“You think about it and you just think that will never happen to us,” Wikstrom explained.

When the police arrived, Cheryl and Jeff remembered that they just had an ADT security system with cameras set up outside of their home two weeks earlier.

“I have cameras now,” Munn said. “That’s when I took them over to the little screen they left me and there weren’t any pictures.”

Cheryl and Jeff asked ADT for a system that recorded and stored video, but what they got were cameras that operated a live stream with no playback capabilities.  It cost $300.  In addition, Munn signed a three year contract at $44.99 a month.

Munn claimed the technician didn’t leave any paperwork or training manuals behind to know what she had purchased.

On the other side of the sound in Shelton, Gerald and Alicia Bergsma were trying to prevent a second burglary of their cabin.

“I had requested a camera that I could be able to see from anywhere in the world when I’m away,” Alicia Bergsma said.

But there were problems with the installation from the start.

“The three installers did not know how the cameras work,” Alicia Bergsma said

The ADT installers couldn’t get the video to show up on Bergsma’s app on her phone when she went outside of her home.

The Bergsma’s said the system never worked after multiple attempts and one no-show by ADT crews.

“I said “Ok, before you leave, let’s go outside. Let’s go to the lake and see if it works and it did not work. He says ‘well, it will probably work when you get home.’ So I come home and it doesn’t work,” Alicia Bergsma said.  “They had no clue what they were doing.”

In both cases, both couples wanted out of their ADT contracts after their situations.

“Honestly, I want them to let me out of the contract,” Munn said.  “I do not feel they deserve our business. I want out.”

In Munn’s case, ADT says in a statement:

“ADT helps protect more than 100,000 customers in the Puget Sound area and has earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for exemplary service. We appreciate being informed of an issue with one of our customers in Snohomish County and are currently investigating the matter.”

We have not seen widespread issues in our region with ADT’s concerning these types of complaints.  But we feel these cases are important to tell you about.

After Jesse talked to ADT, the Bergsma’s will give the company one more chance to make things right.

“They were very apologetic, and they were willing to get their best tech out there, who was certified in the system and they would repair it to our satisfaction,” Gerald Bergsma said.

But that will never be enough for Munn, who questions not only the company’s technicians, but their sole mission to protect their customers.

“I want to completely start over with a company that we can trust now,” Munn said.

We’ve also learned there is a break in Cheryl Munn’s case.  A stolen car was found with her identification and credit cards in the vehicle.  Now the police are looking for a person of interest in the case.  Police said the person used Cheryl’s stolen credit card at the Lynnwood Victoria Secret Pink store on Friday, March 30.  If you know who it is, call the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.