Burglary & Robbery
- Make sure all outside entrances and inside security doors have deadbolt locks. If you use padlocks instead, make sure they are made of steel. Record the serial numbers of the locks but deface the number on the lock so that unauthorized keys can't be made.
- All outside or security doors should be metal-lined and secured with metal security crossbars. Pin all exposed hinges to prevent removal.
- Windows should have secure locks and burglar-resistant glass. Additional security can be gained by inserting pins through the window and frame. Consider adding metal security grates on windows that are not in display or in customer areas, or that are in remote areas of the building.
- Light the inside and outside of your business, especially around doors, windows, or other entry points. Make sure exterior lighting is high enough to be out of reach or add covers to make tampering more difficult. Inside lighting helps police see anything unusual during routine patrols.
- Check parking areas for adequate lighting and unobstructed views. One area often overlooked is the back of the business. Make sure the back door and loading/dock areas are well lighted.
- Be sure your safe is fireproof and well anchored. Leave the safe open when it's empty. Remember to change the combination when an employee who has had access to the safe leaves your employment.
- Never leave the combination written down anywhere in the business.
- Before you invest in an alarm, check with several companies, and decide what level of security you really need. Ask for references of other businesses in your area using the security company to see how they are really performing.
Robbery doesn't occur as often as other crimes but the potential of loss can be much higher. Robbery involves force or the threat of force and can result in injuries or death. For this reason, every effort should be made to avoid becoming an easy target for robbers such as:
- Greet every person who enters the business in a friendly manner. Personal contact can discourage a would-be criminal.
- Keep windows clear of displays or signs that might block the view from anyone outside of the business.
- Check the interior of your business to eliminate any blind spots that might conceal a robber in progress.
- Be selective about who knows the details of your security system. Not every employee needs to have this information. Generally, the fewer the better.
- Tell employees to immediately report any suspicious activity or person. They should immediately write down any information concerning a description to include gender, approximate height, weight, hairstyle, clothing, and unusual identifiers like scars, tattoos, beards, or glasses. If a vehicle description or license number can be obtained without putting the employee at risk this is also especially helpful.
- Quite often a robber will go into the business prior to the robbery to assess the opportunity of success and can seem suspicious or unusual while doing so. The information gathered by employees can be vital to follow up with law enforcement.
- Place your cash registers and check out close to the front of the store. This increases the chances of someone spotting a robbery in progress.
- Keep small amounts of cash in the registers to reduce losses. Use a drop safe the employees cannot make retrieval from and post signs alerting would-be robbers of this procedure.
- Make bank deposits often during business hours but don't establish a set pattern. Ask for a police escort when making a deposit. This is a no-cost service and greatly preferred over the alternative.
- Video surveillance is a deterrent to many would-be robbers and is the best eyewitness. Consider the costs of such systems against your potential for loss.
- If you or an employee are confronted by a robber - cooperate. Merchandise and cash can be replaced - people can't.