How to Prevent Vandalism at Auto Dealerships
Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes, 53 seconds
Whether it’s just kids looking for trouble or hardened criminals out to steal expensive equipment, vandalism at auto dealerships hurts the bottom line. In February, two vandals smashed almost 300 windows at a Detroit auto dealership. About the same time, two dealers in Langley, B.C. complained to local media about ongoing vandalism—such as spray-painted graffiti, damaged ignitions, gear shifts and steering columns, and broken windows—and the lack of justice. Meanwhile, construction sites grapple continually with cut fences and smashed locks on shipping containers. The losses large and small add up.
So what can you do to protect your property?
1. Harden the Target Take a look around your site and note where it is most vulnerable. How can vandals get in and do damage without being seen?
- Secure the perimeter with chain-link fencing and gate access control to secure areas.
- Check your security system for blind spots, work with your specialist to create a comprehensive site design.
- Improve lighting. Not only does this help with deterring criminals, but it will also make passers-by able to see your vehicles.
- Secure repair areas and loading bays with an access control system. This will help you to know who is coming and going as well.
2. Display Warning Signs Let potential vandals know you have taken security measures and will prosecute all criminals. “Private Property,” “No Trespassing,” and “Security Cameras in Use” are common warning signs.
3. Implement Security Protocol Train your employees to follow security measures.
- Work with your Security specialist to improve your security protocol.
- Review your protocol before any changes in hours, holiday hours for example.
- Make sure your keyholders know all credentials to contact your Monitoring company in the event of an emergency.
- Conduct criminal background checks on all staff.
- Require proof of security licences from security guards or a ULC certificate from your Monitoring company.
4. Make Valuables Harder to Steal.
- Mark or die stamp tools and equipment.
- Keep up-to-date inventory records, including serial and ID numbers.
- Lock vehicles overnight.
- Install anti-theft devices.
- Use locking gas and oil caps.
- Keep minimal gas in tanks.
- Remove keys from large equipment and vehicles.
5. Install Monitored Security Cameras. To be effective against theft and vandalism, you need an interactive, monitored security system. Place cameras high enough to offer a wide view of the secured area, and out of reach of thieves and vandals. An event-triggered video-analytics system, with cameras connected 24/7 via the Internet to a remote central operating station, offers your best chance of stopping vandals in the act and minimizing any property damage. Why wait for someone to smash 300 windows? Notify police as soon as anyone suspicious enters the car lot and have them apprehended before they can inflict significant damage.
- Alaniz, Anthony. 55 cars vandalized, nearly 300 windows smashed at dealership. Motor1.com, February 24, 2018.
- Azpiri, Jon. Langley car dealers say never-ending thefts, vandalism costing thousands of dollars. Global News, February 13, 2018
- Controlling theft and vandalism at construction sites. City of Kennewick, WA.
- Theft and vandalism on construction sites. Aviva.ca, May 4, 2018
Have we ever told you the story of Ian's sleeping security guard?
Ian Speckman arrived at his dealership one morning to find his security guard asleep in his car. Speckman pulled in and left his car running out front while he ran inside the dealership. Hear the full story from Speckman about how he woke this guy up.
Dealer Partners like Ian Speckman are very conscious of theft. Thieves will steal top-of-the-line tires and rims and resell them for next to nothing while the business is left scrambling to cover the costs, pay insurance deductibles or source parts. This takes time away from managing the business and increasing revenue.
Our partners chose Radius Security when other traditional camera systems or static security guards are no longer effective in covering the large scale car lots from vandalism and theft. While static security guards are key in a security program for some other businesses, they are only able to be in one place at once so patrolling between each vehicle and into each corner takes an extended amount of time. Radius Customers have a birds-eye view of their lot at all times and the Dealer Principals can access these cameras at any time on their phones or any other internet-capable device.
What makes this unique from traditional camera systems is the live response coordination by the Command Center team. As one of the only local Command Centers to North America, we are able to work with responding officers to ensure the apprehension of suspects.