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According to a 2008 survey from the U.S. National Retail Security the average retail burglary cost business owners $5,209. That kind of loss could be detrimental to the livelihood of your business right?
Retail burglary involves breaking and entering into a business with the intent of stealing items. It often involves costly damage to the building and the loss of valuable merchandise. To make matters worse, once a business has been burglarized, it is at a higher risk for repeat victimization.
According to a 2009 report from the U.S. Department of Justice:
• Burglary accounted for 23.6 percent of the estimated number of property crimes.
• Burglaries of non-residential properties accounted for 27.4 % of all burglary offenses.
• Of all burglaries, 61.0 percent involved forcible entry, 32.6 percent were unlawful entries (without force), and the remainder (6.5 percent) were forcible entry attempts.
Retail Burglary Patterns:
Most retail burglaries occur at night or after regular business after-hours and the thieves typically leave before the authorities are able to respond. During these types of burglaries the thieves tend to enter through a door or window.
However, a new type of retail burglary is becoming more popular amongst thieves; “ram raids” and “smash and grabs” involve ramming a car or other objects into a retail building, attempting to grab as many items as possible, and then making a quick escape.
Most retail burglars select stores located in isolated areas or those known to have poor security features, such as low lighting, insufficient locks, no window bars, or lack of formal security systems.
How do businesses prevent retail burglary?
- Install reinforced glass doors and windows to reduce the possibility of “smash and grabs.”
- Employ the use of roll down security panels or screens over vulnerable glass doors.
- Access control/door buzzers are essential for daytime security.
- Keep a minimum of cash on the premises. If excess cash is necessary to have on hand use a time delayed safe.
- Leave cash registers empty and open at night.
- Move valuable merchandise and business equipment away from windows and doors during night hours, preferably in a vault.
- Leave security lighting on at night. Directed and focused on vulnerable areas.
- Change locks if keys are lost. Consider updating systems to access card that can easily change employee access or deactivate lost and/or stolen cards.
- Be sure to have security cameras on the interior and exterior of your business. If a burglary does happen the forensic evidence on the video footage could help the authorities identify and apprehend the thieves.
- Be sure to have adequate indoor and outdoor lighting. The better your business is light the less likely it is to be burglarized.
- Be sure to have a secure safe/vault on premises to store your valuable merchandise and equipment when your business is closed.
- Have a security policy for staff to follow.
- Have an monitored alarm system. Your alarm system will most likely be the first alert to the authorities that your business has been broken into. You will also want to make sure your alarm system is equipped with a duress code in case the would be thieves try to enter when your employees are arriving or leaving for the day.
- It is also a good idea to have your employees open and close for the day together. Thieves are less likely to try and enter your business if there is a group of two or more people opening/closing your business.
If you would like more information about preventing retail theft at your business talk to your safety coordinator or call American Fire & Security at 937.262.7937.
The Security Girl